RM posts sales and profit gains, talks up UK education space

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RM posts sales and profit gains, talks up UK education space

Microscope contributor

RM has talked up the overall prospects for sale growth in the education sector after recording a bumper set of preliminary financials for its fiscal 2010 ended 30 September.

Sales grew 10% to £380m and operating profits climbed 12% to £19.9m, with gains to the top and bottom lines made across all three operating segments. Committed revenues fell 8% to £385m at year-end following a moratorium on BSF.

The IT industry braced itself for a massive drop in public sector spending when the coalition came to power back in May but aside from the freeze to the BSF programme, investment in education looks set to hold up well, according to RM.

"Clearly the UK public sector is in a period of significant funding and policy change," said Terry Sweeney, chief executive at RM.

"However, the overall funding environment for schools is better than many anticipated and shows modest real-terms growth over the next four year," he added.

The Learning Technology (LT) unit - which produces learning platforms, PCs and interactive kit in the UK, US and Asia Pacific - grew 4% to £274m in fiscal 2010, with UK sales boosted by £84m in BSF deal, offsetting a decline in other business.

Sales in the division are forecast to decline in 2011 but the operation is "well-aligned" with policy developments said RM and it has international operations that continue to expand.

"We are increasingly building channels that will allow us to take these products and services to market in a number of territories around the world," said RM.

Education Resources - teaching equipment and resources - grew 30% to £83.3m, with the majority of growth coming from the TTS Group, while the Assessment and Data unit grew revenues 18% to £23m.

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