In 2002, sales increased by 6% to £4,320m and operating profit from continuing
operations improved by £67m to £493m, an increase of 18%. Adjusted earnings per
share grew to 30.3p, a headline increase of 42%. Operating free cash flow
improved by £69m to £305m. Average use of working capital improved by £53m in
our book publishing businesses, even as we increased investment in new authors,
titles and programmes.
On a statutory basis, Pearson reported a loss before tax for the year of £25m (a
£436m loss in 2001) and generated a loss per share of 13.9p (a loss per share of
53.2p in 2001). The loss includes a (non-cash) goodwill charge of £340m. Net
borrowings fell by £971m to end the year at £1,408m. The board is recommending a
5% increase in the dividend to 23.4p per share.