The owner of the Financial Times on Tuesday denied it was planning to dump the business newspaper after earlier reports suggested it was \"planning to explore a sale\". Media wire Bloomberg reported that British media group Pearson was sounding out a private sale and that the company \"has decided to consider offers for the newspaper this year\". Pearson released a statement within an hour, saying it was \"not in the habit of responding to rumours, speculation or reports about our portfolio\". It added: \"However, this particular Bloomberg story is wrong.\" According to reports, Pearson is looking to offload the £1 billion ($1.6 billion, 1.2 billion euros) valued company within months in order to focus on its fast-growing education division. Chief Executive Majorie Scardino has said the paper would only be sold \"over my dead body\" but analysts have been predicting a sale since she announced her retirement on October 3. Successor John Fallon has refused to rule out a sale of the paper, which has suffered from declining readership. Pearson last month agreed to merge book publishing unit Penguin with Random House in a move seen by analysts as proof that radical strategic decisions were being taken.