Dow Jones Newswires: Pearson says 2019 performance as expected and appoints new CFO

Pearson PLC said Thursday that its 2019 performance met its recently lowered guidance and its chief financial officer is leaving.

The London-based education group PSON, -10.16%  said its underlying revenue was flat and adjusted operating profit was around 590 million pounds ($766.9 million). The result were in line with expectations, which were lowered in September when the company warned of a weaker-than-expected performance in its key U.S. higher-education segment.

Underlying revenue from U.S. higher-education courseware declined 12% last year, Pearson said.

Analysts forecast an adjusted operating profit of GBP595 million and a 0.7% decline in underlying revenue, according to a consensus provided by the company.

For 2020, Pearson said it expects adjusted operating profit of between GBP500 million to GBP580 million, including the 25% stake in Penguin Random House which it recently agreed to sell. Trends seen in 2019 in U.S. higher-education courseware are anticipated to continue this year, the company said.

Pearson also said Williams will be leaving the company later this year to take on a comparable role at a company based in continental Europe and that he will be replaced by deputy CFO Johnson. William’s departure comes after the company said last month that Chief Executive John Fallon would leave in 2020.

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