(Alliance News) - Pearson PLC on Friday said it is "on track" to achieve 2024 guidance amid an as-expected first quarter result and growth momentum for the second half.

Pearson is a London-based provider of digital and virtual learning materials for both higher education institutions and professionals.

Shares in Pearson were down 1.5% to 976.80 pence in London on Friday. The wider FTSE 100 index was up 0.4%.

In a trading update, Pearson reported underlying sales growth of 3%, with strong operational progress in all divisions.

Chief Executive Omar Abbosh said: "The year has started well. Financial performance was in line with our expectations, thanks to strong execution across the business.

"The year is unfolding as we anticipated, and we continue to expect an acceleration of growth in the second half, which will see us achieve our guidance for the full year."

Assessment & Qualifications sales grew 2% in the quarter, Virtual Schools sales increased 4%, but Higher Education sales were down 4%.

Elsewhere, English Language Learning sales increased 22% and Workforce Skills sales grew 9%.

Pearson said it its initial GBP300 million share buyback has been completed, and the previously announced GBP200 million buyback extension has commenced.

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

Comments and questions to newsroom@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.