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Pearson Q1 Underlying Revenues Up 2%; Backs 2019 Adj. Operating Profit Outlook

Pearson plc (PSON.L) said that sales in the first quarter increased 2 percent in underlying terms, reflecting 2 percent growth in North America and 4 percent growth in the Core segment, while revenue was flat in the Growth segment.

The company noted that at Penguin Random House, trading is in line with its expectations.

Looking ahead, Pearson said its guidance for 2019, after adjusting for IFRS 16 and the disposal of US K12 Courseware, remains unchanged. The company expects to deliver adjusted operating profit of between 590 million pounds to 640 million pounds.

This guidance includes a post-IFRS 16 net interest charge of 60 million pounds, a tax rate of 21 percent, to give an adjusted earnings per share range of 53.5 pence to 59.0 pence. This is based on the exchange rates at 31 December 2018.

The company also said it is on track to deliver annualised cost savings in excess of 330 million pounds exiting 2019.

Further, Pearson announced the appointment of two independent Non-Executive Directors to its Board of Directors. Graeme Pitkethly, CFO and Board Member, Unilever PLC and NV, and Sherry Coutu, the entrepreneur and angel investor, will join the company's Board, with their appointments effective from May 1, 2019.

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