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Pearson Raises Profit Outlook on Lower Interest, Taxes

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Pearson Plc, the owner of the Financial Times, said it will beat its profit forecast because of lower-than-estimated interest and tax costs.

Sales for the first nine months of the year grew 6 percent, the London-based company said in a statement today. That compares with 7 percent for the same period a year earlier. The publisher raised its forecast for full-year adjusted earnings per share to about 83 pence from about 80 pence, as it benefits from lower-than-predicted interest and tax charges.

Sales at Pearson’s education business, which provides training materials and textbooks to governments, companies and schools, increased 7 percent in the first nine months. Pearson’s results exclude the effect of currency movements and discontinued businesses.

“The world economy is neither simple nor helpful this year,” Chief Executive Officer Marjorie Scardino said in the statement. “We can’t count on the trading environment to get any easier any time soon, but we do expect our durability and our innovation to continue to help us succeed.”

Debt increased to 1.1 billion pounds ($1.75 billion) from 430 million pounds at the beginning of the year after the company made acquisitions, Pearson said.

Pearson rose 3.3 percent to 1,146 pence in London trading yesterday. The stock gained 14 percent this year before today, giving the company a market value of about 9.35 billion pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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