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Revenue up 29% at Explore Learning

publication date: Apr 30, 2012
Explore Learning, the supermarket-based tutorial company for 5-14 year olds, has reported an operating profit of £818k (2010: £872k) for the year ended 31 December 2011 on revenue up 29% to £15.2m (2010: £11.8m). The increase in revenue was helped in part by the opening of 12 new centres in 2011 (2010: 10) and an increase in membership which stood at around 14,000 (2010: 11,200) at the year-end. The opening of new centres impacted gross margins, down from 33% in 2010 to 30% in 2011. During this period, the average number of part-time tutors at the centres increased to 801 (2010: 586) and the average FTE number of tutors increased from 135 in 2010 to 334 in 2011. Administrative costs increased 22% to £3.7m (2010: £3.0m). And after net finance costs the company reported a pre-tax profit of £811k (2010: £863k).


During the year, Explore Learning invested £2.2m (2010: £1.7m) in new and existing facilities, funded from own resources. At 31 December 2011, the company had net debt of £31k (2010: £845k net funds) including bank loans of £325k (2010: £325k).


The company currently operates 61 “Maths & English tuition centres”, mainly located in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and shopping centres in the South of England although it does operate centres in the Midlands, North West and Scotland. According to the Director’s report for FY11, Explore Learning continues to actively search for new locations through the UK to open new centres in 2012.


Explore Learning’s business model requires parents to pay a monthly membership fee, depending upon location, with discounts offered for siblings. Members receive two, one hour and fifteen minute tuition sessions per week, normally after school and at weekends. Most centres also offer additional courses including creative writing and preparation for the 11+ and have extended opening hours during school holidays. The company develops its own in-house content for tuition within its centres.


Explore Learning’s principal investors are Spectrum Venture Management Fund (SVM) and Wittington Investments (the ultimate holding company of Associated British Foods). SVM’s investors include the Guardian Media Group, Kingston Communications and Syntek Capital. Private investors include Explore Learning founder, Bill Mills, Sir Peter Ogden, Sir Peter Lampl and Peter Freeman.



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