Assessment and qualifications revenue increased 8%, driven by US student assessments and UK and international qualifications, virtual education increased 4%, as did OPM revenue. English language teaching increased by 24%.
Pearson’s English volumes test led the English language learning segment, which grew 90% to 827,000 “as global mobility continued to improve with reopening borders and increased market share in India,” the report said.
Pearson VUE saw “particularly strong growth in the IT and healthcare segments,” the report said, with professional license exam volumes rising to 19.4 million in 2022 from 16.8 million the previous year.
While higher education fell 4% due to declining enrollment and “adoption loss to non-mainstream publishers,” e-textbook platform Pearson+ saw its paid subscribers grow to 406,000 in fall 2022, up from 133,000 in fall 2021.
The results are “a testament to the strong momentum we’ve been building operationally and strategically over the last 24 months”, Pearson chief executive Andy Bird said.
“For the second year in a row, our financial results have exceeded expectations and we have seen progress in our strategic initiatives that are taking Pearson on an exciting new path,” he said.
“Our portfolio continues to grow with our new talent investment platform, Workforce Skills, which was created to take advantage of the structural growth in our markets and the increased need for upskilling and reskilling.”
Pearson expects Workforce Skills revenue to see double-digit growth in 2023.
“We’ve seen progress in our strategic initiatives that are taking Pearson on an exciting new path”
The acquisition of Mondly, digital credential specialist Credly and contracting entity PDRI, will support the growth strategy across the Pearson ecosystem, the company added.
Mondly is key to implementing Pearson’s credential segment and strengthening its consumer direct language learning space. The acquisition of workforce assessment provider PDRI “will extend Pearson’s services to US federal agencies and expand our presence with large employers,” the release added.
Upskilling and reskilling will be “a key driver of growth for Pearson in the coming years”, continued Bird, as the company continues to reshape its portfolio.
“Our confidence in the future is supported by continuous innovation along with the growing connectivity of the divisions. This is combined with accelerating demand for our digital solutions, a growing consumer-focused offering and our ability to serve more people throughout their lifelong learning.”
In 2023, the education company is “certain” to see further group underlying revenue growth in the low to mid single digits. This expectation does not include OPM products, a segment that is “still undergoing strategic review.”
English language teaching revenue is expected to grow in the single digits with increased margins, and assessment and qualification revenue is expected to see low to mid single digit growth.
The report said virtual schools’ revenue is likely to fall by half in the single digits due to “the waning of the Covid-19 cohort in the 2022/23 academic year as well as the loss of a large school”.
The report shows U.S. virtual school enrollment falling to 106,000 in 2022 from 111,000 in 2021, and OPM student enrollment falling slightly to 270,000 from 275,000 in 2021.
“We remain confident in the long-term performance of this solution [Virtual Learning] division and will launch Career Academies aimed at supporting teenagers who want to gain career education and experience. There will be four career academies in four states for the 2023-24 school year, and enrollment is underway,” Pearson added.