Pearson Shares Jump on Review of U.S. Unit, Cost-Cutting Plans -- Update

By Rory Gallivan Features Dow Jones Newswires

Shares in Pearson PLC (PSON.LN) rose more than 10% Friday after the world's largest education company said it would launch a review of its struggling U.S. learning-products business and announced more cost savings, the latest moves in a prolonged bout of restructuring.

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The London-listed company--a provider of textbooks, language courses and other educational products and services--said it expects to make extra annual savings of 300 million pounds ($387 million) by the end of 2019 through measures including cutting administrative costs in North America.

Shares in the company were up 11% at 0722 GMT, giving it a market capitalization of GBP6 billion.

Pearson, which used to be best known for publishing the Financial Times newspaper until it sold it two years ago, also announced a strategic review of its U.S. K12 business, which publishes educational products in areas such as science and language and has struggled with competition and other issues.

The measures are the latest in a yearslong restructuring process Pearson has undergone involving multibillion-dollar asset sales amid tough market conditions in the U.S.

Pearson also Friday reported an encouraging start to 2017, with underlying sales in the usually quiet first quarter of 2017 up 6% from last year.

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Pearson said it benefited from growth in North American higher-education products, professional certification, South African school textbooks and U.K. student assessment.

Write to Rory Gallivan at rory.gallivan@wsj.com; Twitter: @RoryGallivan

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 05, 2017 04:00 ET (08:00 GMT)