Pearson Publishing has reported its Q1 results, showing 3% growth across its portfolio. The publishers of – among others – the Penguin book range and the Financial Times continues to rely heavily on its educational materials, which comprise 60% of its total revenue. And the company has also come out with a strong statement on the current US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit, insisting that there will be a “robust defence” against allegations of price-fixing.
The DOJ lawsuit is clearly likely to consume a great deal of resources but Pearson appears to be in the fight for the long haul, along with Apple. The case is likely to be slow-moving and complex, and opinion is divided among commentators as to the relative merits of the different arguments being put forward. The only thing that’s certain so far is that lawyers will be making a lot of money.
Pearson expects a strong year and there are suggestions that digital revenue could outstrip print revenue for the company for the first time by the end of 2012. The company is poised to benefit if the expected boost in eTextbooks takes place, although there are also growing fears that high prices could stifle growth in the market for (legitimately acquired) digital textbooks.