The story of our year

Annual report and accounts 2014

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365 days... in less than three minutes

Chief executive's overview

For education to really work it needs to not only provide access, but ensure progress... by standing at the intersection of new technology and good teaching practices, we can make learning more accessible relevant and more relevant for more people around the world.”

John Fallon - Chief executive
Rozanna from South Africa

Rozanna has beaten overwhelming odds. Born into a family in Zimbabwe in which neither parent had taken A-levels, let alone attended university, she was not a typical candidate for higher education. Insecurity, lack of access to technology, and fear about personal safety were some of the barriers she faced. But her thirst for education led her to enrol in Pearson’s Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI) in South Africa. Rozanna is now a third-year psychology major with a drive for achievement that has inspired us all at Pearson. She praises her lecturers, and credits much of her success with the personalised learning technology she uses at MGI.


Bethany from the UK

Bethany is a UK student who did not take A-levels, but instead went after a BTEC qualification. She, like so many recent BTEC applicants, applied to university with a different skillset, but not with any less determination or ability. Her hard work and credentials were recognised when she was accepted to study Psychology and Linguistics at Oxford University. Bethany’s story highlights that a skills-based qualification like a BTEC is not a ‘lesser’ credential, but one that can set a student up for success in higher education and a career.



Zuriel from California

Zuriel is an ambitious 12-year old documentary filmmaker, originally from Nigeria, who now lives in California. She is enrolled in Pearson’s entirely online Connections Academy, which she says allows her to “do extracurricular activities even when travelling overseas, creating documentaries, and interviewing African leaders,” without missing important schoolwork. Zuriel recently launched the “Speak Up, Stand Up” project to inspire girls on the African continent to “stay in school, get a good education, and also to accomplish their dreams.” We can safely say she is leading by example.

Julia from China with John Fallon

Julia is learning English at one of Pearson’s Wall Street English centres in Shanghai. I met with her during my visit there and was inspired by her drive. She now lives far from her parents’ farm in south China, and far from the norms of rural life. Julia’s decision to leave home to continue in higher education might have come as a shock to her family, but she is determined to improve her English language capabilities in order to further her career prospects and, one day, find work with a global company. She likes to engage on social media with friends she’s met virtually around the world – and she wants to use her English language skills to spread the word that, as she puts it, “there’s more to my country than air pollution.”

Taylor from the USA

Taylor is a student at the University of North Texas who was not thrilled that Statistics was a required course for her major. She lacked confidence in math and nearly let that fear cause her to change course and quit her degree programme altogether. ‘I thought I didn’t have the ability to do maths,’ she told us. Taylor was then introduced to Pearson’s MyStatsLab and decided to push through her fear. Instead of failure, she found success through using the tool to reinforce learning and practice in difficult areas. She completed her Statistics class with the highest possible grade.


2014 financial highlights

Sales £4.9bn +2%
Sales by Geography - NA £2,974m, Core £1,1154m, Growth £746m
Sales by Line of Business - School £2,027m, Higher Education £1,695m, Professional £1,152m
Adjeusted Operating Profit £720m +8%
Adjested Operating Profit by Geography - North America £464m, Core £152m, Growth £35m, Penguin Random House £69m
Adjusted Operating Profit by Line of Business - School £236m, Higher Education £309m,  Professional £106m, Penguin Random House £69m
Average Annual Growth in terms of Headline terms 2009-2014: Adjesuted earnings per share +0.4%, Operating cash flow -6.6%, Dividend +7.5%
Line chart showing Sales in £m from 2009 to 2014
Line chart showing Adjusted Operating profit in £m from 2009 to 2014

Chairman’s review

The most difficult phase of our transformation has been completed… one which has laid the foundations to strengthen our position as the world’s largest education company..."

Glen Moreno - Pearson Chairman

"We now move into our next chapter, better prepared than ever to help people all over the world progress in their lives through learning..."

You can download my letter, or the full report below.

Meeting the expectations of all of society

Two smiling school pupils

Operating responsibly is central to achieving our business strategy... helping us to better deliver outcomes for people, and to better meet the expectations of all of society.” (Robin Freestone, board member responsible for corporate responsibility)

Our social impact priorities

  • Standards - continuing to invest in our people and reduce our environmental footprint
  • Impact - making a significant contribution to global education through campaigns and programmes, with a particular focus on literacy
  • Innovation - partnering to help find solutions to some of the biggest unmet educational needs 

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Annual report and accounts 2014

Full annual report

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Chief executive’s overview

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Financial performance

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Principal risks and uncertainties

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Social impact

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Financial statements

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Annual General Meeting

Our AGM is on 24 April 2015 in London.
For details and documents visit our AGM page.