Trading Update 1999

Pearson plc, the international media company, today issued the following annual update on current trading for the year ending 31 December.

In the second half of the year, Pearson is trading in line with expectations. Pearson Education, in its first full year of trading since the Simon & Schuster acquisition, is performing strongly. The US school business is gaining market share; the US higher education and professional group is building on its market leading position; and, while Asian and Latin American markets are recovering only slowly, international operations are benefiting from major efficiency gains.

The Financial Times newspaper is increasing sales in Europe and North America and, along with our business newspapers in France and Spain, continues to capitalise on a buoyant advertising climate. Elsewhere in the Financial Times group, FTAM, the specialist financial information business, is benefiting from the successful integration of Thomson Securities Information Services (TSIS), acquired earlier this year.

The Penguin group is sustaining the strong start it made to the year, capitalising on more efficient operations and a stronger publishing schedule. Operating profits at Pearson Television are also on course to meet expectations, with the core production business continuing to prosper. The planned sale of Pearson’s stakes in the three Lazard houses, which are trading well, should be completed early next year.

Pearson continues to step up investment in its Internet businesses., which is on track to exceed its traffic and revenue targets for the year, will soon be transformed into a fully integrated, multi-channel global business portal., a new UK personal finance website, is launched today.

Financial Times Deutschland, which will be both a newspaper and an on-line service, will be launched on schedule, in the new year. Pearson Education continues to develop a network which will integrate its websites and online instruction through a portal offering distinct services to educators, students and parents. And Pearson is making good progress in pursuing new Internet and multi-media opportunities in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds.

The preliminary results will be announced on March 6; the annual report will be published in early April; and the annual general meeting will be on May 12.

For further information

Pearson plc


John Fallon


+ 44 171 411 2310