- Educational publisher Pearson Group posted a 45% rise in annual profit owing to gains on asset sales, while a fall in operating profit was nevertheless in the upper half of its guidance range.

Profit for the year through December rose to £590m after the company sold its Wall Street English and UTEL units.

Adjusted operating profit fell 5% to £546m, compared to guidance of £520m to £560m.

Pearson declared a final dividend of 13p per share, up 8% on-year.

For 2018, the company said it expected to report adjusted operating profit of between £590m and £640m, and adjusted earnings per share of 56.5p to 62.0p.

'We made good progress last year,' chief executive John Fallon said.

'We increased underlying profits, outperformed our cost savings plan and invested in the digital platforms that are making us a simpler, more efficient and innovative company.'

'We are increasingly well placed to guide our customers through a lifetime of learning and help our partners shape the future of education.'

'We have a lot still to do, but we expect company wide sales to stabilise this year, and grow again in 2020 and beyond.'

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