Education

Pearson increases online focus as revenue falls 5% on Covid-19 school closures

Key Points
  • Britain's Pearson said its first-quarter revenue declined 5% driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The outbreak has caused the closure of schools and assessment centers.
  • Pearson said it could see a bigger hit if social distancing measures are prolonged.
A mother instructs her children in their homeschool learning curriculum. Either a normal education routine, or a new way of doing things for those practicing social distancing during Covid-19 lockdown.
RyanJLane

Britain's Pearson said its first-quarter revenue declined 5% driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused the closure of schools and assessment centers, and said it could see a bigger hit if social distancing measures are prolonged.

The education company, however, said on Friday it had seen a significant rise in the use of its digital products and services and rapidly growing interest in its global online learning business.

It said it was redeploying its people to support the areas of greatest need and opportunity, for example in making digital learning tools, services, and resources available to teachers, students, and parents affected by school and college closures.

Chief Executive John Fallon said Pearson was in a strong financial position with a healthy balance sheet, low net debt, and good liquidity.

"This enables us to deploy all our people and resources to support our communities as the world's learning moves online at an unprecedented speed and scale," he said.

The company is paying a final dividend of 13.5 pence, an increase of 4%, subject to shareholder approval at Friday's AGM.