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Pearson Selling The Family Silver

Pearson plc PSON  The best that can be said about Pearsons 2017 results is that they came out at the top end of guidance and that the restructuring programme is on track. Nonetheless underlying revenues fell by 2% due to a 4% decline in North America where US higher education coursework fell by 3% despite a rise of 9% in digital coursework. For 2018 further falls are possible and adjusted operating profit is expected to be between £520m and £560m after disposals compared to 2017’s £ 570 to £575m. Disposals which were completed in 2017 included a 22% stake in Penguin Random House. Perhaps it is time that management woke up to the fact that there is only a limited supply of family silverware and in the end it runs out.

Burberry Group BRBY not surprisingly saw retail revenue down by 2% in the quarter to the 30th December which management should perhaps be reminded, included Christmas, although to be fair, on a comparative store basis, they did manage an increase of 2%. Here is another former stalwart of British retail  whose management is trying to transform it and to do so with strings of meaningless verbiage. The aim is to establish it firmly in luxury – it does not actually say ” luxury what” but no doubt they will get round to deciding that later.They seem to have completely forgotten that the company was for decades firmly esconsed in the luxury goods market and apparently no longer is..This great transformation is going to be underpinned by “people strategies”, We will also see a “global engagement campaign” for employees and best and most important of all “the piloting of  new enhanced digital sales associate tools.”At least management is not lost for words, it is just sales it is a bit short of.

Beazley plc BEZ expects to report that pre tax profits for the year to the end of December will be ahead of current market expectations, helped partly by a reduction in US Corporation tax rates from 35% to 21%.

Cineworld CINE achieved growth of  11.6% in the year to 30th December after admissions increased compared to 2016. Another year of progress is expected for 2018 after refurbishments and selective site closures duing 2017.

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