The sale of the Financial Times has helped lift Pearson's profit guidance for its 2015 financial year, despite the fact that loss tripled to £115m.

Sales jumped by 5% to £2.16bn, fuelled by a 7% revenue growth in the company's professional division.

"Overall, we're competing well, enabling us to reaffirm our full year guidance and increase the interim dividend," chief executive John Fallon said. "The new education products and services we're developing which will enable far more people of all ages to discover the joy of learning and progress in their careers."

The £844m sale of the Pearson-owned business to Japanese media corporation Nikkei came as a shock after sources had told the media that the FT would be sold to Axel Springer, a digital media company in Germany that owns newspapers Die Welt and Bild.

Shareholders responded very positively to the news of the FT sale, as shown by Pearson's share price soaring more than 5.5%. The company hiked its interim dividend by 6% to 18p.

The company is disposing of the FT division in order to streamline the company and focus on its educational publications.

It said in a statement: "Pearson will now be 100% focused on our global education strategy."

The sale does not include the publisher's stake in The Economist, nor does it entail the sale of the FT's headquarters at One Southwark Bridge in London. The FT's secondary publications, including Investors Chronicle, the Banker and MandateWire, will be sold to Nikkei.

The publisher also reported a 33% growth in profit from its Penguin Random House publishing business, although the absolute amount of £24m profit looks a bit dry.