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Learning Technologies maintains dividend after ‘robust’ performance

Learning Technologies reported a 2% improvement in revenue in its full-year results on Thursday, to £132.3m, although its adjusted EBIT slipped 2% to £40.3m.
The AIM-traded firm’s adjusted EBIT margin for the 12 months ended 31 December came in at 30.5%, compared to 31.5% in the prior year.

Profit before tax was down 6% at £13.5m, and adjusted diluted earnings per share were 1% weaker at 4.29p.

Net cash as year-end stood at £70.2m, up from £3.8m at the end of 2019.

The company said it deployed the £81.8m it raised in an equity placing to accelerate growth in the talent development market, and delivered eight acquisitions since the start 2020, contributing around £50m of pro forma revenue.

It said it was on track to deliver against the strategic targets announced at the placing by the end of 2022, being £230m of run-rate revenues and £66m of run-rate adjusted EBIT.

Learning Technologies described its earnings as “high quality”, with recurring revenue rising to 81% from 74% year-on-year, as its EBIT margins were “robust”, being kept above 30%.

Revenue growth in software and platforms was 13% year-on-year, making up 76% of group revenue, with a stable organic performance being supplemented by acquisitions.

Content and services revenue declined 22%, to make up 24% of group revenue.

Learning Technologies said it was expecting a stronger performance in 2021, returning to pre-Covid-19 levels.

The directors said the firm’s “robust” balance sheet and strong cash generation were supportive of further investment for growth, and proposed a dividend of 0.5p, in line with 2019 despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the business.

“Learning Technologies delivered a resilient financial performance in 2020, building recurring revenues while maintaining EBIT margin against a challenging macroeconomic backdrop,” said chief executive officer Jonathan Satchell.

“Our balance sheet strength was bolstered by an £82m equity placing to accelerate our future growth and we have used that capital to good effect with acquisitions that extend our capabilities and scale in the global market for digital learning and talent management.

“Learning Technologies enters 2021 with organic growth momentum, supported by a more diversified business and enhanced capabilities to capture long term structural growth opportunities.”

At 1019 GMT, shares in Learning Technologies Group were down 8.59% at 153.4p.

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