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Revenue down 8% at BPP Professional Education

publication date: Jan 3, 2012
BPP Professional Education, the accountancy and finance training arm of BPP Holdings, has reported an operating loss of £4.0m (2010: £8.3m loss) for the year ended 31 August 2011 on revenue down 8% to £49.9m (2010: £54.1m). Almost all of the company’s revenue is generated in the UK. Gross margins were unchanged at 38% and administrative expenses fell by 20% to £23.1m (2010: £28.8m) as the business reduced costs to match the declining revenue. The latest filing confirms the announcements made by the company’s US parent, Apollo Group, during the past 12 months concerning the performance of its UK professional education business.

BPP reports that turmoil in the global and UK economies continued to impact the business in FY11 and the company expects the impact of low graduate recruitment levels on the number of candidates entering for a professional qualification to continue for a number of years. However, BPP remains confident that the launch of new products will help strengthen Professional Education’s position in the market, albeit a smaller market over the next few years. The company offers online learning for a number of programmes including ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW and CFA exams, financial services exams and professional development.

BPP Learning Media, the publishing arm of BPP Holdings, reported an operating profit down 95% to £195k (2010: £4.0m) for the year ended 31 August 2011 on revenue down 4% to £23.7m (2010: £24.8m). The lower operating profit reflects the lower revenue and higher administrative expenses which increased 50% to £8.7m (2010: £5.8m). A fall in UK sales – down 11% to £19,8m (2010: £22.1m) – was only partially offset by a 47% increase to £3.9m (2010: £2.7m) in non-UK sales. The decline in UK sales mirrors the fall in sales at BPP’s training arm.

BPP Learning Media publishes study materials for professional exams and business reference. As well as supporting BPP Professional Education’s training courses, the materials are used by students, professionals and tuition providers worldwide. Books and eLearning materials are available for accountancy and insolvency, tax, business and management, finance, marketing and market research, banking and financial English. The company reports it is working with a wider network of professional bodies to develop additional revenue opportunities.


Mander Portman Woodward (MPW), the sixth-form college business which is also part of BPP Holdings, reported an operating profit of £3.93m (2010: £3.06m) for the year ended 31 August 2011 on revenue up 12% to £14.1m (2010: £12.6m). MPW’s gross margin improved slightly from 46% to 47%. Administrative expenses were little changed at £2.73m (2010: £2.74m). The average number of people employed by the company during FY11 was 236 compared to 210 in the prior year. The increase was principally in teaching staff.

MPW operates three sixth-form colleges in London, Birmingham and Cambridge and recruits students from the UK and overseas. The three colleges offer GCSE and A level courses to registered full-time students and Easter revision courses to students registered at other schools. The number of full-time students registered with MPW increased 3% from 789 in the 2009-10 academic year to 812 in 2010-11. This follows a 12% increase in the prior year. The company reports that 73% of A level subject entries were awarded at least a grade B (against 70% in 2010 and a national average of 52% in 2011) and the number awarded either grade A or A* was 39% (against 38% in 2010 and a national average of 27% in 2011). The directors report that enrolments in the current academic year are on target, as are enrolments for 2012-13.


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