Tuesday, January 27, 2009

James Ashton writing in the Sunday Times

Twelve years into her reign as chief executive of Pearson, Dame Marjorie Scardino can celebrate her 62nd birthday today safe in the knowledge that shareholders can now see how she has transformed the business.

There are even signs that what was once a muddled conglomerate has enough grit to trade its way successfully through a recession - albeit aided by favourable currency fluctuations.
Pearson, which marks school tests, produces learning materials and publishes the Financial Times and Penguin Books, serves as a reminder that the weak pound does not have to harm all British businesses. The group generates 60% of its sales in American dollars.
On top of a lower tax rate, the swing from an average exchange rate of $2 to the pound in 2007 to $1.44 at the 2008 year-end added 2p a share to annual earnings forecasts. The other 4p, which raised expectations from 50p to 56p a share after last week’s trading statement, can be put down to a stronger performance in American higher education and Pearson’s international arm.
Read the full piece at the Sunday Times online.

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