January 21, 2016 Last Updated 12:05 pm

Pearson announces plans to reduce headcount, cut costs; DC braces for massive winter storm

Morning Brief: While Asian markets fell today in reaction to Europe’s and Wall Street declines yesterday, trading today look steady, with US markets set to open modestly down

The book publishing company Pearson said today in a trading update that it expects to reduce print related headcount by 5,000 positions, or 4,000 total job losses (10 percent of Pearson’s total workforce).

Pearson-logo“We are moving quickly to implement this restructuring and are planning to complete the majority of it by the half year, and all of it by the end of the year,” the company said in its trading update.

“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,” Pearson chief executive John Fallon said. “Faced with these challenges, we are today announcing decisive plans to further integrate the business and reduce the cost base, rationalize our product development and focus on fewer, bigger opportunities.”

The company said it expected to report adjusted operating profit of approximately £720m for 2015 when it reports earnings on February 26.

Cost savings the company are looking for, beyond headcount, include reductions in direct delivery services, shifting the focus to more scalable online delivery.

Asian markets fell today, but the declines were more a reaction to Wall Street’s declines than the other way around. Because of this, European markets were up modestly.

Despite this, Wall Street is set to open lower today, though Dow and NASDAQ futures don’t point to major share declines.

Maybe we will have a day off from having to check our retirement accounts.

The big news this weekend may be the massive snowstorm that is set to hit the Washington DC area. Forecasts are for one to two feet of snow. DC is not exactly snow country, so unlike Minneapolis or Chicago, the city is not experienced and skilled at snow removal.

But the good news, if there is any, is the timing: the story is set to hit late Friday afternoon. Assuming offices let out a little early to avoid the first snow fall, most people should be safely home during the worst of the snow. (Of course, restaurants won’t be too pleased with the timing as it looks to bite into their weekend business.)

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