British publisher Pearson, owner of the Financial Times newspaper, announced on Monday that its net profits fell 26 percent in 2011 compared with the previous year. Pearson said profit after tax dropped to £957 million (1.13 billion euros, $1.52 billion) from almost £1.3 billion in 2010 but the result was skewed by the fact that in 2010 the group sold its stake in Interactive Data Corp. Pearson, which also owns the book publishing brand Penguin and which dominates the market for producing educational materials, was optimistic about the future due the group\'s underlying performance amid dark economic clouds. \"The external environment provides a testing backdrop for these results, and all our industries face some degree of turbulence,\" chief executive Marjorie Scardino said in the results statement. \"But our strategy and long-term planning for change have helped us to another good year to add to our record of persistent out-performance. We believe those qualities, combined with the commitment and innovation of our people, will continue to serve our customers and our shareholders well.\"