- Revenue increased 124% to £3.0m (FY20: £1.3m) driven by successful delivery of IPO growth strategy
- Consumer revenue, which includes core bootcamps and apprenticeship revenues, of £2.8m (FY20: £1.2m)
- Corporate Solutions revenue was £0.3m (2020: £0.1m)
- Gross margin growth to 72% (FY20: 67%), moving towards 79% target in 2019 driven by cost benefits of new hybrid model
- Gross profit increased significantly to £2.2m (FY20: £0.9m)
- Adjusted EBITDA increased to £0.4m from a loss in 2020 (FY20: loss of £0.3m)
- £3.5m raised at IPO (before expenses) to accelerate further growth
- Net assets as at 31 December 2021 were £2.2m (FY20: £0.5m) of which cash was £1.6m (FY20: £0.5m).
- Continued to expand geographic footprint with new lease signed for core hub in Leeds alongside existing Manchester campus
- New training hub opened in Newcastle and activity started in Birmingham
- Implemented new highly scalable hybrid course-delivery model blending online and in person teaching to extend reach of Northcoders’ training
- Driving record number of 3,662 students applying with 424 enrolling and 213 graduating so far
- Demand at record levels
- Continued to increase hiring partners to over 315, including new businesses such as NHS Digital, PrettyLittleThing, Informa, AND Digital Limited, Wren Kitchens Limited and Sky Betting & Gaming.
- Engaged with a new funding partner, StepEx Limited, allowing applications from a more diverse range of backgrounds
- Awarded £1.65m government-funded scholarship in July 2021 and continue to engage regarding future public funding arrangements
- Launched Apprenticeships course in January 2021 following government’s Education Skills Funding Agency accreditation
- 96 apprentices enrolled in the Period
- Contracts already begun across UK including companies such as PrettyLittleThing and logistics company, Hermes
- Corporate Solutions division signed multiple new agreements including with Ove Arup, Digital Applications International Limited (the independent IT solution delivery company), and NHS Digital
- Grew staff count to 63 members (FY20: 37) to meet increased demand
Current Trading and Outlook
- In January 2022, successfully extended Department for Education contract with additional £1.65m funding for courses to deliver between February and September 2022
- In Q1 FY22, graduated 1,000th person through bootcamp
- Announced May 2022 opening of Birmingham training hub
- Received a special request from Jason Stockwood, the Chairman of Grimsby Town Football Club, to establish a facility at the club’s stadium; this is planned for Q3 2022
- Company trading in line with expectations
- At the end of Q1 2022 revenue visibility stood at £3.6m, around 55% of the target revenue for the year.
Chris Hill, CEO, commenting on the results said:
“We are delighted to report such a strong set of maiden financial results, demonstrating that Northcoders is successfully delivering its IPO growth strategy. Consumer and corporate demand for our services continues to increase, and we are now extending our reach across the UK as planned through our hybrid product offering.
“As the need for software and technology skills continues to increase, and digital transformation takes priority for organisations in almost every sector, Northcoders’ market leading reputation is driving demand for our training. This, coupled with our extended Government contract, gives us confidence in our ability to fulfil our significant growth ambitions.”
A virtual meeting for sell-side analysts will be held at 10.00 a.m. today, 26 April 2022. Please contact Buchanan via [email protected] if you wish to join the meeting. A copy of the Full Year Results presentation will be available on the Group's website later today: www.northcodersgroup.com .
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the UK version of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 which is part of UK law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended ("MAR"). Upon the publication of this announcement via a Regulatory Information Service, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
The successful IPO in July 2021 has placed the business in a strong position with the financial support to achieve its immediate commercial targets, and in the twelve months under review significant progress has already been made.
I joined the Group as Chair in January 2022, after the period we are reporting on, so will reflect first on what excited me about Northcoders. What I could see was a company with enormous potential for the future and one with a great market opportunity in front of it. Northcoders offers an excellent product, has high quality people, and by facilitating growth in digital capability is simultaneously significantly enhancing both corporate efficiency and the prospects for our graduates throughout the UK. We do not have enough digital capability across the UK, or the global market. The vision of Northcoders to be able to train and expand the current and future talent pool, increasing and improving digital skills and capacity across a broader spectrum of people, is compelling.
Despite the impact of Covid-19 and the distraction of the IPO, we had a year of significant growth and met our market expectations. Our 2021 revenue grew to £3.0m from £1.3m in 2020. This also represents growth from our previous (pre Covid-19) highest revenue year of £2.0m in 2019. We also reported 72% gross profit margin, which is moving towards our target of 79% (2019). Our adjusted EBITDA has increased to £0.4m from a loss of £0.3m in 2020.
Now we want to build on those results. Northcoders has grown to date based on the ideas and committed, hard work of a group of inspirational entrepreneurs. I see my role, alongside the rest of the Board, as overseeing how we now capture and maximise the essence of the culture, values and behaviour that has made Northcoders successful to date whilst managing the necessary change that will enable us to continue to be successful and able to grow in the future. We will also need to continue to develop our strategic plan as the organisation evolves and grows over time. With cultural clarity and strategic direction, we will be able to continue to attract great people with the right talents and motivation, to provide a great product and service, that will be able to make a genuine difference for all the graduates and corporate customers that we serve and train all over the UK.
Growth is our ambition, of course. Growth financially, growth in customer numbers, growth for the people who work for Northcoders, and growth for the people we train. It will mean expanding the number of locations and broadening our product set and the markets we serve. We would like to do that while maintaining the entrepreneurial sense of a small organisation and creating significant shareholder return. How we achieve this balance is going to be our key challenge and we are up for the challenge.
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge and thank our employees for all their efforts in this year of significant change and evolution in our company. That this has been achieved against the continuing backdrop of Covid-19 is to their great credit.
I would like to acknowledge the contribution of my predecessor Sandra Lindsay and thank her on behalf of the Company for all she did in supporting the business up to and through its IPO.
Trading in the current year to date has started well and we expect further significant growth in the year ahead with the balance weighted to the second half of the year. I am very much looking forward to working with the Board and the Northcoders team to continue the excellent momentum of the past twelve months, as we continue to implement the growth strategy set out at IPO.
There are, we believe, exciting times ahead!
The financial year ended 31 December 2021 (‘FY21’ or the ‘Period’) was a momentous year for Northcoders with its successful IPO in July 2021 raising new capital for the Company and providing it with the resources to implement its growth strategy of expanding its geographical presence and product offering.
In July 2021, the Company was admitted to trading on the AIM of the London Stock Exchange and completed a fundraising, via a placing and subscription of 1,944,444 new ordinary shares at 180p per share, which raised £2.9m, net of expenses.
The admission to AIM has enabled us to increase our marketing activities, focus on geographical expansion, grow our team, and develop our internal tech roadmap further. We have also started to look at our product‑extension roadmap in more detail.
We also intended to use proceeds of the IPO as a cash flow buffer to be able to offer more favourable payment terms to students through external student finance providers. However, the receipt of £1.65m of funding from the Department for Education (DfE) in 2021, with a further £1.65m to follow in 2022, has meant we can repurpose these funds.
The Group delivered a strong performance in 2021 despite the continued impact of Covid-19 generally and the resources required for the IPO more specially. Underlying performance was in line with expectations and cash flow benefited from the additional course funding available from the Group’s contract under the DfE’s ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantees’ and ‘Plan for Jobs’ initiatives, secured in July 2021. Non‑underlying costs were also lower than expectations at the time of the IPO.
2021 revenue, which comprises consumer revenue and corporate revenue, increased 124% to £3.0m (2020: £1.3m) and was also higher than our previous highest revenue year of £2.0m in 2019.
Consumer revenue, which includes core bootcamps and apprenticeship revenues, was £2.7m (2020: £1.2m) and corporate revenue was £0.3m (2020: £0.1m).
Gross profit for the year was £2.2m (2020: £0.9m) with a reported gross profit margin (‘GPM’) of 72% (2020: 67%). The cost benefits of the new hybrid model are driving a move back towards the GPM achieved in 2019 of 79%.
EBITDA, adjusted for share-based payments and exceptional items, was £0.4m (2020: loss £0.3m).
The loss for the year before tax was £0.5m (2020: £1.2m), after recognising £0.4m of exceptional costs. There was a tax credit of £0.2m (FY20: £0.3m) giving a loss for the year of £0.4m (2020: £0.9m).
Basic earnings per share was a loss of 6.13p per share (2020: 18.84p). Basic adjusted earnings per share was 3.04p per share (2020: a loss of 7.03p).
Net assets as at 31 December 2021 were £2.2m (2020: £0.5m) of which cash was £1.6m (2020: £0.5m). The increase in cash and net assets has been caused by company growth and the July 2021 IPO. This net position now puts the company in a good place going forwards as we continue to realise our future growth strategy and expansion.
At the turn of 2021, Northcoders was operating online‑only due to the coronavirus restrictions in place. Both physical hubs were closed, with Manchester reopening on 4 May and Leeds on 21 June.
In 2021, we were able to fully implement a new hybrid course-delivery model blending online and in-person teaching, which we had developed during the course of 2020 in response to the pandemic. With a record number of students applying (3,662), enrolling (424) and graduating (213) through our courses, we enjoyed the benefits of this highly scalable new model. In this new operating model, we stream all lectures to our various Northcoders hubs, but also to students studying from home and remotely. We then have tutors on-hand via our custom, internally built, help-desk system answering requests either in person on campus, or remotely.
Operationally, we have been able to scale the business well, with all sectors sharing service areas and the student-to-tutor ratio increasing only gradually, ensuring we maintain quality. The new operating model has enabled us to teach our bootcamp and apprenticeship courses with little or no disruption from coronavirus lockdowns or other restrictions. But it has also proven our model to be resilient and scalable whilst maintaining our quality standards and reputation.
Northcoders Group ended 2021 with a permanent headcount of 63 members of staff compared to the 37 we started the year with. Staff numbers are expected to grow by a further 30 employees in FY22 with the headcount at 31 March 2022 standing at 79.
During 2021, we were also able to set up a team focused on creating internal software. This team works with an aim of creating efficiencies across the business, improving the quality of service for our learners and end users, while providing a new rich source of data to inform and improve our sales and marketing activity. This has resulted in a new version of the Learn to Code platform that was successfully launched in Q1 2022, a fully functional jobs board and the current help-desk system that is used by all bootcamp learners. The team will also monitor the industry and make any necessary changes to the curriculum.
The entire technical team at Northcoders spends time on rotation in this internal development team. This enables every member of the technical team to stay up to date with modern software techniques and processes, enabling Northcoders tutors to deliver the most cutting-edge and relevant methodologies/content to our learners and clients.
Consumer bootcamp courses are designed for individuals seeking a career as a software developer and are delivered over a 13-week period.
Consumer demand for the Group’s core bootcamp courses grew strongly during the Period. In July 2021, Northcoders’ quality was acknowledged when the Group was successfully awarded a £1.65m government-funded scholarship programme for its training courses.
We received over five times the number of applications for the scholarship places we had available, demonstrating the strength of demand for quality training.
We have continued to increase the number of our hiring partners, which now stands at over 315. Additions during the Period included NHS Digital, PrettyLittleThing, Informa, AND Digital Limited, Wren Kitchens Limited and Sky Betting & Gaming.
During the Period, the Group has also engaged with a new funding partner, StepEx Limited, allowing more students from a diverse range of backgrounds to benefit from the life-changing education that the Group provides.
Consumer demand for the Group’s core bootcamp courses is expected to continue to grow in FY22, especially with the benefit of increased monthly marketing spend and geographic presence. In Q1 2022, we graduated our one thousandth person through the coding bootcamp since our first course in 2016. We anticipate we will graduate at least half that number again in 2022. Our learner retention rate is 95%. We continue to achieve an Oxbridge‑beating placement rate of 94%, with average starting salaries in software for our coding bootcamp graduates now at £26,488.
In January 2022 we reported that the Department for Education had advised that funding has been increased further, due to the successful delivery of student courses through the first funding round. The increase entails a further £1.65m in funding for training courses which we expect to deliver between February and September 2022. To date, we have awarded £0.7m of this funding.
Northcoders launched its apprenticeships courses in January 2021. Subsequently, the Group has delivered contracts across the UK with learners from companies based as far south as Plymouth and as far north as Darlington and Penrith. An increasing number of large employers, such as online fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing, and logistics company Hermes, are seeing the benefit of engaging with Northcoders to deliver apprenticeship courses on their behalf. In the Period, the Group has also launched its new apprenticeship ‘hire to train’ programme which is proving to be very popular with both corporates and individuals alike.
Our corporate solutions division services corporates when their needs do not fall within hiring a bootcamp graduate or putting a staff member on an apprenticeship. We work with each individual corporate company to work out a solution to their digital needs. This could be in the form of a tailored internal training programme through a premium consultancy project, or it could be that Northcoders take on their software engineering project in house.
We continued to develop our corporate solutions revenue in 2021 with revenues of £0.3m (2020: £0.1m). Even more pleasingly, we signed contracts for both software training and software engineering services, totalling £0.5m, in the Period, of which £0.2m carries forward into FY22. Northcoders signed agreements in the year with Ove Arup, Digital Applications Limited (the independent IT solution delivery company), and NHS Digital, as well as working on mobile app development for two start-up companies. We have also secured further software development work for Manchester City Council’s Adult Education department.
It is becoming apparent that bespoke, localised training for the corporate sector is a growing opportunity to drive the growth of Northcoders nationwide. In response, we expect to invest £0.3m in 2022 into internal intangible assets with an exciting tech roadmap in place. Continuing with our product development, and responding to market demand, we will be introducing a premium consultancy product. This offers packaged solutions and mentorship services to clients who need to grow and upskill their software teams rapidly. Alongside that, using a similar revenue model, we will also be providing bespoke onboarding and training academies for clients who need to train either new or existing workforces in specific skills.
Geographic expansion and hub roll out
The year commenced with the Company having two hubs in Manchester and Leeds (albeit they were closed due to Covid). During the year:
- a new lease has been signed in Leeds for a premises that can accommodate the Company’s recent growth as a result of the increasing brand awareness;
- a training hub in Newcastle was opened;
- activity commenced in Birmingham with a number of students being signed up in the region. Marketing in the region commenced, although the opening of a physical hub was deferred due to uncertainty around the UK Government’s winter Covid plans. We are now set to open Birmingham in May 2022; and
- the Company received a special request from Jason Stockwood, the Chairman of Grimsby Town Football Club, to establish a facility at the club’s stadium; this is planned for Q3 2022.
In due course there will be a Northcoders presence in many more cities throughout the country, not just in the north of England. Areas that are on the initial target list include Liverpool and Sheffield, where we already have graduates and current remote learners. With the availability of the online offering the Company is taking advantage of its ability to move into new locations remotely in the first instance and thereafter follow up with a local, physical presence.
Northcoders is a market leader in software engineering training and its market opportunity is vast. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills estimated that 1.2m new technically skilled people are needed by 2022 to satisfy future skills needs in the UK. Digital transformation is a huge priority for organisations across the UK and the need for coding skills spans across almost every sector. Our aim is to fulfil as much as possible of this increase in demand whilst creating life-changing opportunities for individuals.
To meet this demand, we will continue to identify new geographic regions where it is believed that a Northcoders presence and hybrid product offering, both in-person and online, would be successful. We will also continue to review our products and endeavour to provide solutions tailored to corporate needs and the needs of the industry.
The Group started FY22 with contracted bookings for the year to December 2022 of approximately £3m, approximately 46% of the target revenue for the year. At the end of Q1 2022 revenue visibility stood at £3.6m, around 55% of the target revenue for the year. Trading in the year to date has commenced in line with management’s expectations and this, together with the extension of the DfE contract, gives the Board confidence for the Company’s prospects for the remainder of the year.
Chief Executive Officer
Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income
For the year ended 31 December 2021
|Cost of sales||(848,392)||(449,319)|
|Other operating income||144,749||153,635|
|Total administrative expenses||(2,315,227)||(1,590,066)|
|Loss before taxation||(523,588)||(1,245,550)|
|Loss for the year||(358,124)||(942,107)|
|Other comprehensive income:|
|Items that will not be reclassified to profit or loss|
|Tax relating to items not reclassified||(5,089)||—|
|Total items that will not be reclassified to profit or loss||(5,089)||—|
|Total other comprehensive loss for the year||(5,089)||—|
|Total comprehensive loss for the year||(363,213)||(942,107)|
|Earnings per share||7|
|Basic (pence per share)||(6.13)||(18.84)|
|Diluted (pence per share)||(6.13)||(18.84)|
|Adjusted (pence per share)||3.04||(7.03)|
Total comprehensive loss for the year is all attributable to the owners of the Parent Company. All losses after taxation arise from continuing operations.
Consolidated Statement of Financial Position
For the year ended 31 December 2021
|Property, plant and equipment||525,067||211,566|
|Deferred tax asset||256,350||159,521|
|Trade and other receivables||10||1,416,145||298,800|
|Current tax recoverable||143,042||241,799|
|Cash and cash equivalents||1,564,645||525,671|
|Trade and other payables||467,282||518,472|
|Net current assets||2,234,308||67,593|
|Deferred tax liabilities||134,474||85,076|
|Called up share capital||69,444||—|
|Share premium account||2,891,314||—|
|Share option reserve||134,715||—|
Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity
For the year ended 31 December 2021
|Share premium account |
|Merger reserve |
|Balance at 1 January 2020||—||—||—||—||187,591||212,468||400,059|
|Year ended 31 December 2020:|
|Loss and total comprehensive loss for the year||—||—||—||—||—||(942,107)||(942,107)|
|Balance at 31 December 2020||—||—||—||—||187,591||(729,639)||(542,048)|
|Year ended 31 December 2021:|
|Loss for the year||—||—||—||—||—||(358,124)||(358,124)|
|Other comprehensive loss:|
|Tax adjustments on share based payments||—||—||—||—||—||(5,089)||(5,089)|
|Total comprehensive income for the year||—||—||—||—||—||(363,213)||(363,213)|
|Issue of share capital||19,444||3,480,555||—||—||—||—||3,499,999|
|Costs of float set against premium||—||(589,241)||—||—||—||—||(589,241)|
|Merger reserve transfer||—||—||—||—||(187,091)||187,091||—|
|Share options and warrants expense||—||—||146,699||—||—||—||146,699|
|Cancellation of share options||—||—||(11,984)||—||—||11,984||—|
|Balance at 31 December 2021||69,444||2,891,314||134,715||(50,000)||500||(893,777)||2,152,196|
Consolidated Statement of Cashflows
For the year ended 31 December 2021
|Cash flows from operating activities|
|Loss for the year after tax||(358,124)||(942,107)|
|Adjustment for non-cash items:|
|Gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment||—||(11,708)|
|Amortisation of intangible assets||134,755||44,347|
|Depreciation of property, plant and equipment||118,892||244,840|
|Impairment of tangible assets||—||590,788|
|Equity-settled share-based payment and warrants expense||146,699||—|
|Government grant income via present value adjustment||—||(15,615)|
|(Increase)/decrease in trade and other receivables||(1,117,345)||39,678|
|Decrease in trade and other payables||(152,740)||(157,310)|
|Cash absorbed by operations||(1,299,541)||(400,022)|
|Net cash outflow from operating activities||(1,087,840)||(375,579)|
|Purchase of intangible assets||(268,537)||(165,216)|
|Purchase of property, plant and equipment||(42,706)||(15,878)|
|Proceeds on disposal of property, plant and equipment||—||2,409|
|Business combination, net of cash received||—||(17,973)|
|Investment revenues received||8,574||150|
|Net cash used in investing activities||(302,669)||(196,508)|
|Proceeds from issue of shares||2,910,758|
|Proceeds of new bank loans||—||925,000|
|Repayment of bank loans and borrowings||(162,961)||(105,296)|
|Payment of lease liabilities||(215,954)||(54,424)|
|Net cash generated from financing activities||2,429,483||676,557|
|Net increase in cash and cash equivalents||1,038,974||104,470|
|Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year||525,671||421,201|
|Cash and cash equivalents at end of year||1,564,645||525,671|
Changes in liabilities arising from financing activities
The table below details changes in the Group's liabilities arising from financing activities, including both cash and non-cash changes. Liabilities arising from financing activities are those for which cash flows were, or future cash flows will be, classified in the Group's consolidated statement of cash flows as cash flows from financing activities.
|At 1 January 2021||Financing cash flows||New leases||Other movements1||At 31 December 2021|
|Bank loans and borrowings||885,950||(162,961)||–||8,999||731,988|
|At 1 January 2020||Financing cash flows||New leases||Other movements2||At 31 December 2020|
|Bank loans and borrowings||46,267||819,704||—||19,979||885,950|
- Other movements in the year ended 31 December 2021 includes:
- unwinding of present value adjustment of £8,999 to bank loans; and
- accrual for rent due but unpaid on lease liabilities.
- Other movements in the year ended 31 December 2020 includes:
- the amount of £20,724 within bank loans and borrowings relating to the bounce bank loan consolidated on business combination; and
- disposal of leases of £137,046.
Notes to the Financial Statements are available in the printable PDF version