Skip to Main Content

About Pearson Education, Inc.

Pearson is the world's top educational publisher of textbooks and related material. The company provides learning material and assessment and digital services to schools, colleges, and universities, in addition to professional and vocational education. The UK-based company has operations in 70 countries but generates most of its revenue in the US from the college education system. Pearson's recent history has been characterized by a move away from other branches of publishing, such as literature, to solely focus on education; it has plans to sell its remaining stake Penguin Random House, one of the world's major publishing houses, to German conglomerate Bertelsmann in 2020.

Operations

Pearson divides its operations along geographic lines. Its North American business, which generates some two-thirds of revenue, offers learning materials (courseware) and assessment and digital services in the US and Canada. The Core segment (more than 20% of sales) provides similar products and services in other mature markets such as the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific and North Africa; and Growth School (the remaining some 15% of sales) covers developing countries such as Brazil, China, Hispano-America, Hong Kong, India, the Middle East, and South Africa.

Courseware accounts for around 45% of sales, assessments generate nearly 40% of sales, and services almost 20%.

The company's courseware brands include Revel, and MyLab & Mastering. In the UK Pearson operates exam board Edexcel, which offers internationally recognized GCSEs and A-Levels and is the country's only privately owned exam board. Pearson VUE provides electronic testing for regulatory and certification boards in 180 countries.

Geographic Reach

Though it operates in 70 countries around the world, Pearson's largest markets are North America (nearly two-thirds of sales; the US, and Canada) and the UK (around 10% of sales). The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than 10%.

The company is headquartered in London and has approximately 750 property, mainly offices and test centers.

Sales and Marketing

Pearson's traditional customer base comprises companies, organizations, and institutions in the education sector, but more and more it sells directly to students. The company's services are increasingly delivered digitally, and in 2019, about 65% of tests in the US were taken digitally.

Financial Performance

Note: Growth rates may differ after conversion to US Dollars.

Pearson has struggled to grow its revenue over the last five years while taking some heavy net losses. In fiscal 2019 the company's sales decreased by £260 million to £3.9 billion from £4.1 billion in 2018 with portfolio changes reducing sales by £347 million and currency movements increasing revenue by £97 million. Stripping out the impact of portfolio and currency movements, revenue was flat in underlying terms. Underlying revenue in North America declined 3%, Core was up 5%, and Growth was up 4%.

Net income declined 55% to £266 million due to the decrease in revenue despite the similar decline in costs and expenses, as well as the decline in Pearson's income tax for the year.

Pearson's cash balance declined £91 million during 2019, ending the year at £434 million. The company generated £369 million from its operations. It used £325 million in investing activities, and financing activities used another £102 million. Pearson's main cash uses were asset purchases, disposal of subsidiaries, and dividend payouts.

Strategy

Pearson is building a digital, platform-based business centered on the learner. The company developed a new operating structure in 2020, refining the structure of its business to better reflect the shift towards more digital learner-centered products. Key businesses in its new structure include Global Online Learning, Global Assessment, International, and North American Courseware. Its three core capabilities—content, assessment, and services—share interdependencies, powered by the Pearson Learning Platform, all of which is supported by its Enabling Functions.

Pearson is shifting from a product-centered approach to a learner-centered model. This means its portfolio of products can now be integrated around the learner, meeting their needs throughout their learning life. This relentless focus on learner needs is driving a new approach to how the company delivers learning. The new Pearson Learning Platform will be the platform on which the future of learning will be built. This will be an engaging, immersive learning experience that is highly personalized.

From product-centered where individual products were delivered to learners who were 'unknown' to the company, to a learner-centered platform which is an integrated, multi-product learning experience, with a 'known' customer base enabling lifelong learning, and creating lifetime value for Pearson and the learner.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In early 2020, Pearson, announced the acquisition of industry-leading digital learning technology from Smart Sparrow, an ed tech innovator based in Sydney, Australia. The deal values Smart Sparrow's assets at US $25 million. The technology being acquired will enhance Pearson's current capabilities in adaptive learning significantly, and will help accelerate the roll-out of Pearson's Global Learning Platform (GLP).

In late 2019, the company announced the acquisition of Lumerit Education, a US-based ed tech company that helps address the issues of college degree completion and affordability in the consumer and corporate markets. Lumerit uses data and analytics to match learner profiles to academic programs to enable more people to prosper in their lives through learning. The deal values Lumerit at $29 million.

Pearson Education, Inc.

221 River St
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5989
Phone: 1 (201) 236-7000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Vice President Planning And Lo: Richard Essig
Vice President And Senior Coun: Michael Lee
Vice President and Senior Coun: Dan Lennon
Employees (This Location): 1,583
Employees (All Locations): 7,742

Major Office Locations

Hoboken, NJ

Other Locations

Ontario, CA
San Francisco, CA
Boulder, CO
Centennial, CO
Littleton, CO
Washington, DC
Cedar Rapids, IA
Iowa City, IA
Glenview, IL
Indianapolis, IN
Lebanon, IN
Bedford, MA
Boston, MA
Cranbury, NJ
Hoboken, NJ
Kingston, NY
New York, NY
West Nyack, NY
Columbus, OH
Austin, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Irving, TX
Bountiful, UT