UK media entity Pearson has reported record group operating profits of $864m (£549m) for the year to December 31, 1999, up 41% from $612m (£389m) for the previous year. Turnover was £3.33bn, up 39% from £2.4bn in 1998.
Pre-tax profit for the period was up 15% to $633m (£402m) compared to $550m (£350m) the previous year.
Pearson's television production and distribution entity, Pearson Television, saw operating profits rise by 11% to $107m (£68m) thanks to lower start-up losses from Channel 5 in which it owns a 29.26% stake. Turnover for the division was up 3% to $559m (£355m). Pearson Television has recently launched several of its successful formats on the Internet and is currently developing an on-line version of game show The Price Is Right.
The Pearson group has also revealed a raft of Internet deals including an agreement with AOL to provide its education content over AOL services. In addition Pearson has formed alliances with US education programme company Score!, in which it will invest $20m, Copernicus Education Gateway and Blackboard, which provide web-sites for US schools.
The group, which recently raised $394m (£250m) to fund its Internet ambitions, said it plans a share listing on the New York Stock Exchange.