Source - SMW
Pearson said it expected its 2017 annual profit to come in at the upper end of its guidance range. It also indicated that adjusted profit would grow in 2018 versus 2017 on an underlying basis.

Assuming guidance exchange rates, the publisher expected its operating profit for the year through to December to be between £600m and £605m, which was at the upper end of its October 2017 guidance range of £576m-to-£606m.

However, at average effective exchange rates in 2017, the company expected to report adjusted operating profit of around £570m-to-£575m.

For 2018, the company said the base for its guidance was the £570m-to-575m expected in 2017, minus the full-year impacts of disposals made in 2017, worth £45m, and less favourable exchange rates, worth £25m.

"We expect growth from that base and are giving guidance for 2018 adjusted operating profit of between £520m and £560m," it said. 

In 2017, total underlying revenues declined 2%, in line with the performance in the nine-months, due to a decline of 4% in North America partly offset by stabilisation in the group's "core" and "growth" businesses. 

Adjusted earnings per share in 2017 of 53.5p-to-54.5p would be above the October 2017 guidance range of 49p-52p, reflecting an improved tax rate of around 11%, Pearson said.

"We made good progress in 2017 on the simplification of our portfolio, the strengthening of our balance sheet and delivered results at the top end of guidance," chief executive John Fallon said.

"Our restructuring programme is on track and our 2017 performance has set us up well to make further progress against our strategic priorities and grow profit in 2018."