Page last updated at 14:12 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Stronger US dollar helps Pearson

Pearson predicts a tough year for advertising at the FT

Media group Pearson, which publishes Penguin books and the Financial Times, has reported a rise in 2008 profits, boosted by a stronger dollar.

The group also said it had been helped by a good performance at its educational business, but was cautious about the outlook for 2009.

Pearson reported a pre-tax profit of 585m for 2008, up from 468m in 2007. Sales grew by 8% to 4.8bn.

But it said advertising revenues at FT Publishing had fallen.

"We don't expect economic conditions to improve any time soon, but we do expect our company to remain hardy and aggressive," said chief executive Marjorie Scardino.

Pearson generates about 60% of its revenue in US dollars.

And currency movements added 320m to sales, largely the result of the strengthening of the US dollar against sterling, the firm said.

Predicting a tough year ahead for advertising at the FT Group, it added that consumer publishing markets in both the US and the UK were challenging.

But it expected continued growth in its higher education and international education businesses.

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