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Business Review - Pearson Education - Professional

Professional: overview

Our Professional education business publishes educational materials and provides testing and qualifications services for adults. Our publishing imprints include Addison Wesley Professional, Prentice Hall PTR, Cisco Press (for IT professionals), Peachpit Press and New Riders Press (for graphics and design professionals), Que/Sams (consumer and professional imprint) and Prentice Hall Financial Times and Wharton School Publishing (for the business education market).

We have a fast-growing Professional Testing business, Pearson VUE, which manages major long-term contracts to provide qualification and assessment services through its network of test centres around the world. Key customers include major technology companies, the Graduate Management Admissions Council and the UK’s Driving Standards Agency.

Professional: 2007 performance

£ millions 2007 2006 Headline growth Underlying growth
Sales* 354 341 4% 9%
Adjusted operating profit 40 38 5% 11%

* Excludes Government Solutions and includes Data Management

  • With the sale of Government Solutions in 2007 and Data Management in 2008, our Professional business is focused on publishing for professionals in business and technology, and on testing and certifying adults to be professionals.

Professional Testing: rapid organic sales and profit growth

  • Professional Testing sales up 14% in 2007. Approximately
    5.8 million secure online tests delivered in more than 5,000 test centres worldwide in 2007.
  • Strong margin improvement as test volumes rise, driven by higher demand from existing customers such as GMAC (for business school applicants), NCLEX (for nurses) and the DSA/DVTA driving theory test. Good new contract performance, including the American Board of Internal Medicine and the National Association Boards of Pharmacy; and strong renewals, including the Institute of Financial Services and the American Registry of Radiological Technologists.

Professional publishing: good sales growth and further margin improvement

  • Technology Publishing achieves good sales growth and significantly improves profitability, benefiting from a focused and refreshed front list, a favourable software release schedule and Safari Books Online, our electronic publishing platform (a joint venture with O’Reilly Media). Scott Kelby, a Peachpit author, is the top-selling US computer book author for the fourth consecutive year with titles including The iPod Book; The Digital Photography Book; and The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers.
  • Strong performance in Europe, helped by success of publishing for the new Windows Vista launch; a new partnership with Microsoft Press in the Netherlands; and a successful move into digital publishing and training in Germany.
  • Strong performance from business imprints Wharton School Publishing and FTPress, aided by Pearson’s global distribution and strong retail relationships. Wharton School Publishing recognised on the Best Business Books of 2007 with We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business, by Barry Libert and Jon Spector, and Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose, by Rajendra S. Sisodia, David B. Wolfe and Jaqdish N. Sheth.

Data Management: sale completed 22 February 2008

  • Sale of Data Management to M & F Worldwide Corp. for $225m. Data Management contributed $112m of sales and $25m of operating profit to Pearson in 2007.