- Educational publishing group Pearson said revenue in the first nine months of the year had fallen 14%, putting in on track to broadly meet market expectations for the full year.

Pearson said consensus expectations for its annual adjusted operating profit excluding Penguin Random House at 1 June were £331 million, at a pound-to-dollar exchange rate of $1.25.

The fall in sales had reflected the continuing impact of Covid-19 and test centre and school closures in the company's global assessment and international division.

Sales had also dropped in the North American courseware business as expected.

A bright spot was global online learning sales, which rose 14%, due in part to 41% enrolment growth in virtual schools for the 2020/2021 academic year.

For the third quarter, total sales fell 10% year-on-year, compared to falls of 5% and 28% in the first and second quarters, respectively.

'Our digital performance is very strong, as we support customers and learners around the world as they shift to fully online and hybrid learning,' chief executive John Fallon said.

'This has been a challenging transformation for all of us but we are starting to see the benefit of all our work to ensure Pearson becomes the winner in digital learning.'

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