Rebooting Ireland: Learning Pool delivers strong annual results

Rebooting Ireland | Fri 21 Aug | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured: Paul McElvaney, CEO, Learning Pool

Learning Pool revenues in the twelve-month period are up 32% to £18.1m, demonstrating the need for online learning for clients through the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic

Derry-based e-learning group, Learning Pool, today announced strong financial results for the year ending 30 April 2020 (FY20). The group maintained its growth trajectory and, following the strategic acquisition of HT2 Labs earlier in the year, successfully demonstrated the continuing value of online learning for clients through the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic. Resulting revenues in the twelve-month period were up 32% to £18.1m.

Learning Pool engaged more than 230 new clients during FY20 across a wide range of industries including Center Parcs, iRobot, Ofcom, Unicef, Dell, the Food Standards Agency, Isle of Wight Council, Places for People and HS2.

In addition, the group completed the acquisition of Oxfordshire-based HT2 Labs during the summer of 2019. As a result of their pioneering research and development in Learning Record Stores and Learning Experience Platforms, the HT2 Labs customer portfolio includes market-leading organisations such as AstraZeneca, Villeroy & Boch, KPMG and HSBC.

The HT2 Labs acquisition was a real statement of ambition for us and the expanded team has worked phenomenally hard to bring together our respective product and client portfolios.

“Learning Pool had another great year,” says Learning Pool’s Founder and CEO, Paul McElvaney. “The HT2 Labs acquisition was a real statement of ambition for us and the expanded team has worked phenomenally hard to bring together our respective product and client portfolios. This means we are now bringing to market a unique suite of cost-effective learning solutions to serve every customer challenge: from a quick piece of custom learning content through to a modern and sophisticated learning ecosystem. Our core focus remains firmly on delivering outstanding value and service to every one of our customers as we continue to scale our business.”

Since Learning Pool partnered in 2016 with Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI), Ireland’s largest private equity fund, the management team has pursued a blended growth strategy focused on organic growth supplemented by targeted acquisitions. In FY20, organic revenues grew by 18% over the previous year and a further 14% was added from the HT2 Labs acquisition. The company expects to continue to grow in FY21 as customers accelerate their search for online solutions to keep their workforce safe and well informed.

“We’re now engaged with customers and their requirements on a global scale,” says Chief Product Officer, Ben Betts. “The learning content that we produce, in combination with a highly functional LMS, the very latest in LXP technology and market-leading LRS analytics, means our customers can deliver transformational online learning and compliance to their teams in a truly automated, agile and personalised way. As organisations adjust to very different ways of working, Learning Pool is now able to provide the complete scope of learning solutions needed for success in today’s environment.”

The learning content that we produce, in combination with a highly functional LMS, the very latest in LXP technology and market-leading LRS analytics, means our customers can deliver transformational online learning and compliance to their teams in a truly automated, agile and personalised way.

Today’s results capture two full months of operating through the Covid-19 crisis. Learning Pool’s Head of People and Performance, Louise McElvaney, notes that the team has adapted well to a rapidly changing working environment and continued to deliver exceptional service to customers. “I’m tremendously proud of the effort our team has made to stay safe and productive throughout the crisis,” she said. “This has enabled us to keep our team intact. We haven’t used the government furlough scheme, and, in fact, we have onboarded 18 new members of staff since we moved to a completely distributed operational model. We’re well placed to maintain this model and grow the team even more in the coming months.”

During the year, the group was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation), won the Learning Technologies Gold Award for Most Innovative New Product, a (US-based) Stevie’s 2020 Gold Award for Customer Service, a Brandon Hall Silver Award for Excellence in Learning and a CSR World Leader Award. Industry analysts Fosway again recognised the group’s rapid development by enhancing Learning Pool’s placement along the Performance axis in the latest Digital Learning 9-Grid industry analysis. The group remains the only Lower Total Cost of Ownership digital learning provider in the grid’s Core Leader segment.