Group delivers profitability with UK investment in IT training driving revenues and growth
Northcoders (AIM:CODE), an independent provider of training programmes for software coding, is pleased to announce its results for the six months ended 30 June 2021 ('H1 2021' or the 'Period').
- Revenue for the Period of £1.085 million (H1 2020: £0.698 million), up 55% despite teaching limited to ‘online only’ for the majority of the Period
- A return to profitability despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, generating profits before tax of £0.018 million (H1 2020: loss of £0.543 million)
- Underlying EBITDA of £0.258 million (H1 2020: breakeven) giving adjusted EPS of 0.47 pence
- Post Period end, successful IPO of the Group raised funds of £3.5 million (before costs) to accelerate the Group’s growth strategy and geographic expansion
- Q3 FY 2021 trading continues at record levels and as of 20 September 2021 contracted bookings stood at £2.871 million, approximately 96% of the target revenue for FY 2021, giving the Group confidence in delivering FY 2021 results in line with expectations
- Core hubs successfully reopened in north of England with Manchester reopening on 4 May and Leeds on 21 June and plans continue for geographic expansion in H2 2021
- Consumer bootcamp demand reached record levels
- At the end of August 2021 applications were at 162% of that experienced in the full year in 2019 (the most recent comparable period pre-Covid)
- Number of corporate hiring partners continues to increase, most recently including NHS Digital, Pretty Little Thing and FTSE 100 publishing group, Informa
- Post Period end awarded a £1.65 million government-funded scholarship programme, oversubscribed within five days of launch, giving significant revenue visibility for the second half of the year
- Group continues to progress conversations with Department for Education for similar future public funding options
- Successfully launched Apprenticeship programme in January 2021 following the government’s Education Skills Funding Agency accreditation
- Apprentices enrolled on programme in the Period were ahead of management’s expectations at 61 students
- Apprenticeships span the length and breadth of the UK, driving the Group’s geographic reach
- Group is looking into new apprenticeship standards with potential to expand the Apprenticeships offering
- Corporate Solutions generated increasing revenue, with post Period end contracts with Ove Arup and NHS Digital achieved
- Group capacity to teach students on programme, across the board, at any one time, increased by 15% vs. 2020 across all types and will increase by a further 74% in Q3 2021
- Applications expected to accelerate as a result of increased marketing spend post-IPO
Chris Hill, CEO of Northcoders, said: “2021 has been a hugely successful year for Northcoders so far and I would like to thank all of the team for their efforts. Not only did we successfully complete our IPO and raise fresh capital to accelerate our expansion, but demand for our services has hit record highs, giving us confidence in our ability to deliver returns to our new shareholders.
“As the digital skills gap gains greater public attention and career changes are more widely considered by individuals, we are confident that we are well positioned to capitalise on this growth in the IT training sector. We have a best-in class reputation among consumers and corporates alike, and our recent success in securing government funding gives us strong revenue visibility. We are now training students across the length and breadth of the UK, and believe that the full scope of our business model, combined with the benefits of our public listing, will only serve to continue this expansion.”
A virtual meeting for sell-side analysts will be held at 10.30 a.m. today, 28 September 2021. Please contact Buchanan via [email protected] if you wish to join the meeting. A copy of the Interim Results presentation will be available on the Group's website later today: www.northcodersgroup.com.
Certain information contained in this announcement would have constituted inside information (as defined by Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014) ("MAR") prior to its release as part of this announcement and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of MAR.
The Board of Northcoders Group is pleased to present its first interim results following its admission to trading on AIM on 27 July 2021. The IPO of the Group raised funds of £3.5 million (before costs) in order to accelerate Northcoders’ growth plans. It is only two months since the IPO but it is pleasing to report that good progress is being made across the Group’s consumer bootcamps, apprenticeships and corporate solutions and in terms of the Group’s increasingly nationwide appeal.
Profitability in the first half of the year has also been encouraging and a continued tight control over costs, whilst implementing our planned growth strategy, indicates that targets for the full year should be achieved.
Northcoders delivered a strong performance in the six months ended 30 June 2021, returning to profitability despite the on-going impact of Covid.
Revenue for the Period was £1.085 million (H1 2020: £0.698 million), up 55% on the equivalent period last year. Individual training generated revenue of £0.927 million, including £0.522 million from newly launched apprenticeships. Corporate Solutions generated revenue of £0.157 million.
Gross profit for the Period was £0.788 million (H1 2020: £0.478 million) with the gross margin increasing to 72.6% from 68.5%.
EDITDA, adjusted for share based payments and exceptional items, was £0.258 million (H1 2020: breakeven).
Profit before tax was £0.018 million (H1 2020: loss £0.638 million).
Review of Period
At the turn of the calendar year, Northcoders was operating online-only due to the Coronavirus restrictions in place. It was not until towards the end of the Period that our hubs reopened with Manchester opening on 4 May 2021 and Leeds on 21 June 2021.
We were very encouraged that, whilst we operated entirely remotely for a large proportion of the Period, the time and investment in our systems, marketing strategy and delivery processes during 2020 led to an operating profit in the first half of the year. During the first half of the year, the number of Northcoders students in training at any one particular time increased by 15% on 2020 across all programme types and this will increase further by 74% in Q3 2021. This is testament to our hybrid model and is a credit to our growing team.
Having acquired accreditation with the government’s Education Skills Funding Agency in 2020, the Group launched its bespoke Apprenticeship programme in January. In the Period Northcoders enrolled 61 apprentices, which was ahead of expectations.
Post Period end
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 180 pence per share, which raised £2.6 million, net of expenses, to fund the continued development of the Group.
Following the flotation, the Company has 6,944,445 ordinary shares of one pence each in issue.
As at 31 August 2021 the Group’s cash balance stood at £2.458 million.
Training revenues comprise consumer boot camps and apprenticeships.
Consumer demand for the Group’s core bootcamp courses continues to grow strongly. Applications from individuals have been boosted, as more individuals look to change their careers. This is reflected in applications which by the end of August had reached 162% of that experienced in the full year 2019 (the most recent comparable period). With the benefit of increased marketing spend following the fundraise at IPO, the Board expects this growth in demand to continue as Northcoders expands its list of hiring partners.
Encouragingly, as the country moves away from the pandemic, it is very clear that not only is there a significant requirement for a large number of additional tech-trained individuals in the workforce, but also we see an increasing number of individuals who are looking to train or retrain as software developers and engineers, thus meeting this growing demand. This has been reflected in the rapid growth in salaries that these students earn on qualifying from the Northcoders course.
By closely monitoring the progress of our alumni, it is satisfying to see the vast majority of them are not only rapidly gaining suitable employment following qualification, but also progressing fast within the industry. It is these individuals, with their Northcoders background, who act as ambassadors for the training that the Group provides and once noticed by their employer companies, they too become convinced of the value of a Northcoders training programme and seek out further such staff for training to meet their own corporate needs.
We have continued to increase the number of our hiring partners which now stands at over 270. Some of the most recent include NHS Digital, Pretty Little Thing (the online clothing retailer) and the FTSE 100 British publishing, intelligence, and exhibitions group, Informa.
After the Period end, Northcoders’ sector leadership was acknowledged when the Group was successfully awarded a £1.65 million government funded scholarship programme for its training courses. This was intended to be awarded to students over a nine-month period but was in fact oversubscribed within five days of launch, demonstrating the strength of demand for quality training. In consequence, Northcoders is being encouraged by the Department for Education to make additional applications for possible further government funding since this area of training is perceived to be crucial for ensuring the development of the IT-led high skills economy.
In-keeping with Northcoders’ strive for inclusivity, the Group is currently exploring further financing mechanisms to increase consumer bootcamp accessibility.
After the successful launch of Apprenticeships in January 2021 the Group is pleased to report 61 apprentices enrolled as of 30 June 2021. These apprentices span the length and breadth of the UK with learners from companies based as far south as Plymouth and as far north as Darlington and Penrith. This supports the Group’s plans for geographical expansion and will assist in creating presence in new areas. The Group is currently looking into new apprenticeship standards with potential to grow the division and expand the Group’s offerings.
Northcoders’ Corporate Solutions division continues to attract new business with revenue for the year already ahead of the 2020 full year revenue. Since the Period end, Northcoders has signed agreements 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. The Group has also secured further software development work for The City of Manchester Council’s Adult Education Department. Historically, we have not forecast potential revenues arising from corporate programmes due to its unpredictable nature and our expectation that companies would prefer to take advantage of government funded apprenticeship schemes. However, it is now becoming apparent that bespoke, localised training for the corporate sector is a growing opportunity to drive the growth of Northcoders nationwide.
Geographic expansion and Hub roll out
Northcoders’ geographical reach is expanding considerably. For example, as mentioned above, the Group’s Apprenticeship division has secured new business across the UK, from regions as far south as Plymouth and as far north as Darlington and Penrith, Cumbria. As outlined at the time of the IPO, the Group continues 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. A new lease has been signed in Leeds for a premises that can accommodate the Company’s recent and future growth. Activity has commenced in Birmingham with ten students already signed up in the region. Marketing has commenced to plan, whilst the physical hub opening has been postponed due to uncertainty around the UK government’s winter plan to ‘stay at home’. The Company will monitor this and will strategically plan the hub launch accordingly.
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, Newcastle and Sheffield. Northcoders has signed students from all three of these areas. 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.
The level of attention being given to IT training by government bodies, corporates and individuals has proven to be most encouraging. Northcoders has been awarded funding from the Department for Education to provide scholarships in the north of England, while nationwide our training programmes for corporates are being widely adopted. Furthermore, we are seeing a growth in the number of applications for our bootcamp courses from individuals who are keen to pursue a career in software development and IT.
This progress gives the Company confidence for the future and in the Group’s strategy for further growth. As well as the hub roll out, Northcoders intends to make further investment into its apprenticeship offering with the aim of launching new products in Q1 2022.
The Group continues to trade in line with expectations for the year, both in terms of revenue and underlying profitability. As at 20 September 2021, contracted bookings for the year to December 2021 stood at £2.871 million, approximately 96% of the target revenue.
28 September 2021
Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income
For the period ended 30 June 2021
30 June 2021
30 June 2020
|Cost of sales||(297,228)||(220,218)||(449,318)|
|Other operating income||142,748||86,750||153,635|
|Covid related costs||-||(443,092)||(590,788)|
|Share based payment expense||(5,042)||-||-|
|Total administrative expenditure||(852,916)||(1,159,282)||(2,180,854)|
|Profit/(loss) before tax||18,639||(638,855)||(1,245,549)|
|Net profit/(loss) after tax||18,372||(542,875)||(938,335)|
|Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the year attributable to equity shareholders of the parent||18,372||(542,875)||(938,335)|
|Basic earnings per share (pence)||6||0.37||(10.86)||(18.77)|
|Adjusted earnings per share (pence)||6||0.47||(2.00)||(6.95)|
Diluted earnings per share (pence)
Consolidated Statement of Financial Position
For the period ended 30 June 2021
|Property, plant and equipment||4||72,483||167,212||112,323|
|Right of use assets||5||74,322||308,809||99,243|
|Deferred tax assets||100,250||-||113,345|
|Trade and other receivables||1,091,481||214,695||298,805|
|Current tax receivable||235,931||149,793||245,938|
|Deferred tax assets||30,517||29,443||45,805|
|Cash and cash equivalents||356,087||588,439||525,671|
|Trade and other payables||(1,330,526)||(509,732)||(639,006)|
|Deferred tax provision||(30,355)||(33,685)||(29,586)|
|Net current assets/(liabilities)||14,315||246,191||87,956|
|Deferred tax provision||(73,666)||(30,488)||(55,490)|
Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity
For the Period Ended 30 June 2021
to owners of
|At 1 January 2020||-||-||-||187,591||-||212,469||400,060|
|Loss for the period||-||-||-||-||-||(542,877)||(542,877)|
|At 30 June 2020||-||-||-||187,591||-||(330,408)||(142,817)|
|Loss for the period||-||-||-||-||-||(395,458)||(395,458)|
|At 31 December 2020||-||-||-||187,591||-||(725,866)||(538,275)|
|Share for share exchange||50,000||-||-||-||(50,000)||-||-|
|Profit for the period||-||-||-||-||-||18,372||18,372|
|Share option expense||-||-||5,042||-||-||-||5,042|
|Cancellation of share options||-||-||(5,042)||-||-||5,042||-|
|At 30 June 2021||50,000||-||-||500||(50,000)||(515,361)||(514,861)|
Consolidated Statement of Cashflows
For the Period Ended 30 June 2021
ended 30 June
ended 30 June
|Cash flows from operating activities:|
|(Loss)/profit for the year||18,372||(542,877)||(938,335)|
|Government grant income via present value adjustment||-||-||(15,615)|
|Share based payment expense||5,042||-|
|Amortisation of intangible assets||99,468||19,980||44,347|
|Depreciation of tangible assets||75,120||128,277||244,840|
|Impairment of tangible assets||-||443,092||590,788|
|(Profit) on disposal of assets||-||(11,708)||(11,708)|
|Changes in working capital:|
|(Increase)/decrease in trade & other receivables||(792,216)||123,225||39,678|
|Increase/(decrease) in trade & other payables||748,564||(221,984)||(157,308)|
|Cash from/(used in) operations||214,228||(113,008)||(400,022)|
|Income taxes received/(paid)||57,068||24,443||24,443|
|Net cash (outflow)/inflow from operating activities||222,201||(132,532)||(464,302)|
|Cash flows from investing activities|
|Capitalised development costs||(127,157)||(95,406)||(165,216)|
|Purchase of property, plant & equipment||(10,359)||(15,878)||(15,878)|
|Proceeds on disposal of property, plant & equipment||-||2,409||2,409|
|Payment of deferred consideration||(57,000)||-||-|
|Business combinations, net of cash received||-||-||(17,973)|
|Net cash (used in) investing activities||(192,815)||(108,725)||(196,508)|
|Cash flow from financing activities|
|Proceeds from issue of new shares||-||-||-|
|Proceeds from new bank loans and borrowings||-||475,000||925,000|
|Repayments of bank loans and borrowings||(65,650)||(43,250)||(105,296)|
|Payment of lease obligations||(133,320)||(23,255)||(54,424)|
|Net cash (used in)/from financing activities||(198,970)||408,495||765,280|
|Net cash increase in cash||(169,852)||167,238||104,470|
|Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of the Period||525,671||421,201||421,201|
|Cash and cash equivalents at end of the Period||356,087||588,439||525,671|
Notes to the Financial Statements are available in the printable PDF version