Pearson reports underlying sales growth of 7%

Pearson continued the momentum with underlying sales growth of 7% in the first quarter of 2022 and acquired Mondly in English Language Learning said the group on Friday.

Pearson reported an underlying sales growth of 7% in the first quarter of 2022 with Sales of Assessment & Qualifications contributing 22%.

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The group’s Sales of Assessments & Qualifications increased by 22% across the board. The outstanding performance of the US Student Assessment can be attributed in part to the normalisation of exam schedules and Clinical Assessment performed admirably, thanks to the phasing of orders.

Pearson enjoyed a strong retention rate in Virtual Schools and growth in OPM helped boost Virtual Learning sales by 3%, where the OPM contract with ASU will expire in June 2023, as revealed on April 19th.

Borders re-opening and improved worldwide mobility boosted English Language Learning revenues by 18% in Q1, with growth in Pearson Test of English volumes weighted to Q1.

Higher Education revenues fell 5% due to predicted declines in US higher education, indicating a continuous decline in enrolments and courses per enrolment for the academic year 2021/22.

Pearson’s GED Testing Service was chosen as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice initiative, indicating that the company has made significant strategic development.

Sales of Workforce Skills increased by 9% excluding acquisitions, owing to continued growth in BTEC, GED, and TalentLens for Pearson, and as projected, sales in enterprises undergoing strategic review dropped 11%.

The group also reported a share buyback programme to return £350m to shareholders and stated that the first tranche commenced in April, of which over £75m had already been completed.

Pearson reaffirmed its guidance for adjusted operating profit in 2022.

Pearson acquires Mondly

Pearson announced the acquisition of Mondly, which was a strategic purchase for the English Language Learning division, today.

The acquisition is another step forward in the digital strategy, providing the group with access to the rapidly expanding direct to consumer English language learning sector.

Institutional, Pearson Test of English, and Workforce Skills are all strategic growth areas for Pearson, with synergies and cross-selling opportunities.

Pearson expects mid-teens margins for the division by 2025.

Andy Bird, Chief Executive Officer, Pearson said, “Pearson has continued to make strong strategic, operational and financial progress through the first quarter. Underlying sales grew by 7%, and we remain on track to deliver on our 2022 financial expectations and medium-term guidance.” 

“Our acquisition of Mondly, one of the world’s leading online language learning platforms, is another exciting strategic development. It strengthens Pearson’s direct to consumer strategy and supports our ambition to become the global leader in English language learning for committed learners.” 

“We remain sharply focused on the successful execution of our strategy and we are encouraged by the momentum we are seeing across the business.”

Pearson shares gained 2.6% to 791p on Friday after the group reported its Q1 trading update.

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