LONDON 29 MARCH 2019: Pearson plc confirms that credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has today revised its outlook on the company upward to stable, affirming its credit rating at ‘BBB’ on a reduction in adjusted leverage through organic cash generation and asset sale proceeds.
In Standard & Poor’s Research Update, the credit rating agency notes that the stable outlook reflects that ‘after the portfolio reshaping initiatives and the group coming to the end of its three-year restructuring program, we anticipate underlying earnings growth and margin stabilization over the next 24 months...We expect the group to remain conservatively leveraged over the next 12 months while moving closer to net cash, before considering options for shareholder returns and bolt-on growth once existing core businesses are growing.’
Commenting on the news, Coram Williams, CFO of Pearson, said: “Both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s have now recognised the progress we have made in transforming the business. Having a strong balance sheet and a solid, investment grade credit rating underpins our capital allocation policy and enables us to focus on our priorities of growing market share by shifting to digital, rapidly growing our structural market opportunities and becoming simpler and more efficient.
“We welcome this external recognition on the steps we have taken to strengthen significantly our financial position and ensure Pearson delivers long-term sustainable growth.”
The improved credit rating from Standard & Poor’s follows on from the improvement of Pearson’s credit rating outlook to stable by credit rating agency Moody’s, earlier in March.
Pearson is the world’s learning company operating in 70 countries around the world with more than 24,000 employees, providing a range of products and services that help people make progress in their lives through learning.
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