Pearson sales increase on strong demand for online learning

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Strong growth in online education helped Pearson PLC (LON:PSON) lift revenues by 5% in the first three months of 2021.

Global online learning sales jumped 25% during the quarter offsetting declines in course assessment work and English tuition.

The education specialist said virtual schools did well, helped by students staying at home during Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns, especially in the US.

US assessment work though was weak again as more exams were cancelled.

COVID-19 also took a toll on demand for English tuition, particularly in Latin America though there was a slight recovery in China.  

Andy Bird, chief executive said it had been a good start to the year in spite of a longer period of disruption from COVID-19 in the quarter compared to the previous year.

Pearson recently announced it would reorganise around five divisions – virtual learning, higher education, English, workforce skills and assessment and qualifications- and Bird said the group was making good progress with that project and also the group’s overall shift to digital.

“We continue to expect to deliver revenue and profit growth in 2021 and for our performance to be in line with our 2021 outlook as we benefit from improving trading conditions as COVID-19 restrictions ease,” he added.

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