Pearson to restructure, hold the dividend due to weak earnings

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Troubled British education publisher Pearson said it planned to cap its dividend at the 2015 level and take a new swathe of costs out of the business after predicting weak earnings for the next two years.

Pearson, which has announced a string of earnings downgrades in recent years, said it now expected its adjusted earnings per share for 2015 to come in between 69 and 70 pence, slightly below forecasts, and to fall to between 50 pence and 55 pence in 2016 before the costs of restructuring.

“Our competitive performance during the last three years has been strong, but the cyclical and policy related challenges in our biggest markets have been more pronounced and persisted for longer than anticipated,” Chief Executive John Fallon said. (Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by Paul Sandle)