Although sales and earnings for the first half of 2017 were up over the comparable period in 2016, Pearson laid out its plans to cut another 3,000 jobs from its educational publishing workforce.
In May the publisher, which has already eliminated about 3,000 positions, said it was developing a plan to save 300 million pounds over the next three years. As revealed today, the heart of that plan is cutting 3,000 jobs.
In its release announcing the restructuring efforts, Pearson said it sees its North America group as providing one of its it biggest opportunities to cut costs, observing that North America is “where we need to adjust our cost base to the reality of a smaller higher education courseware business.” (Pearson is already conducting a strategic review of its U.S. courseware business). Other cuts will come “globally in human resources, finance, and technology” has Pearson continues to implement upgrades to its back office operations.
The goal of the restructuring, Pearson said, is the simplification and digital transformation of the company as it becomes “a leaner more agile business.”
Sales at PRH Down
As part of its review of the first six months of the year, Pearson reported that sales at Penguin Random House “fell slightly” in the first half, due to lower demand for e-books, partially offset by gains in physical book sales and higher sales of audio books. Despite the sales slip, adjusted operating profit at PRH rose 44% ,to 46 million pounds, in the period over the first six months of 2016 as the publisher continued to benefit from the integration of Penguin and Random House
Among the highlights in the U.S. were the sale of more than 5 million copies of Dr. Seuss titles, over 2 million units sold in the children’s Who Was series, and sales of over 1 million of Thirteen Reasons Why.
Pearson currently owns 47% of PRH, but in July it agreed to sell a 22% stake in the company to its partner in the venture, Bertelsmann.