Pearson, the world’s largest education publisher (and parent company of Penguin Books) reported a 19 pct rise in 2006 profits, ahead of market expectations, and said it expects to grow faster than its markets in 2007. Penguin saw sales rise by 5% and operating profit by 10% in 2006, with underlying sales growing by 3% despite what its parent called a “tough consumer publishing market”. Pearson said that its book publishing subsidiary had a “record number of bestsellers for record number of weeks” over the year–Penguin UK had 59 titles in the Nielsen Bookscan‘s top ten bestseller list, up 5 from 2005, keeping them there for 361 weeks, up 42 weeks from 2005; Penguin US had 139 books on The New York Times bestseller list, 10 more than in 2005, and kept them there for 809 weeks overall, up 119 weeks from 2005.
Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino said: “This is another strong set of results. We have built market-leading businesses and invested consistently in their content, technology and international expansion. That strategy is paying off with sustained growth in sales, margins, earnings and returns, and we expect 2007 to be another good year.”