Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom - Education RSS feed Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom - Education feed en Wed, 21 Mar 2018 07:30:16 +0000 Genera CMS VR Education makes bright start on AIM Mon, 12 Mar 2018 15:02:00 +0000 A giant leap for VR Education as it prepares to join AIM Mon, 26 Feb 2018 09:44:00 +0000 Progility keen to build scale across multiple sectors Mon, 20 Jul 2015 11:32:00 +0100 Barnes & Noble spikes on plan to spin off beleaguered Nook business Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS) jumped in morning trade after the U.S. bookseller said it would spin off its Nook tablets and college books business.

Barnes & Noble jumped 9.1 percent to $22.43 at 10:49 a.m. in New York. Through yesterday’s close, the stock had climbed 38 percent this year.

The spinoff will be completed by the first quarter of next year, the New York-based company said in a statement. 

The Nook business has cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars as it tried to keep pace with deep-pocketed rivals such as Inc., Apple Inc. and Google Inc.

Barnes & Noble said this month it would develop a tablet with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. after curbing production of Nook tablets last year because of the losses.

"We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of NOOK Media and Barnes & Noble Retail," Chief Executive Officer Michael Huseby said in the statement. "We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately.

He added: "We fully expect that our Retail and Nook Media businesses will continue to have long-term, successful business relationships with each other after separation."

The company also reported fourth-quarter results today, showing a drop in the bookstore chain’s comparable sales, as well as continuing losses at the Nook unit. Barnes & Noble predicted that same-store sales would decline in the “low-single digits” this fiscal year.

Net loss shrank to $36.7 million, or 72 cents per share, from a net loss of $114.8 million, or $2.04 per share, a year earlier. The retail segment generated $53.1 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization last quarter. The Nook unit, meanwhile, lost $56 million on an Ebitda basis, and the red ink will continue this year, the company said.

Revenue rose 3.5 percent to $1.32 billion, lifted by growth at its college business. Nook sales accounted for less than 10 percent of the total, while almost three-quarters came from the retail operations. The college unit, which includes lucrative textbook sales and rentals, made up the rest.



Wed, 25 Jun 2014 16:06:00 +0100
Bluedrop Performance Learning: online learning “in demand, on demand” Bluedrop Performance Learning (CVE:BPL) was spun out from one of founder and CEO Emad Rizkalla’s other companies in 2004, with the goal of “revolutionizing workplace learning.” In its first few years, it attracted some of the world’s giants as customers for its custom-built online courseware across seven industries, with a clientele that includes such marquee names as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM).

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 17:47:00 +0100
CIBT sells schools for $13.5 mln Global education services provider CIBT Education Group (TSE:MBA) is soaring 40% after it announced on Tuesday it will sell a subsidiary to Loyalist Group (CVE:LOY).

CIBT will receive $13.5 million in cash from Toronto-based Loyalist in exchange for King George International College and King George International Business College. Loyalist will pay the funds in two installments, $9.5 million on closing and $4 million six months from the closing date, expected to occur soon.

Under terms of the agreement, CIBT will oversee operations of both King George colleges in China as the exclusive licensee.

The Vancouver-based company is making a $9 million or 14 cents a share profit as a result of the deal after acquiring the King George assets for a price tag of $4.5 million in March 2010. CIBT said the colleges' annual revenue has grown more than 50% to $25 since the purchase and the student body has risen 60% to 8,000 students. 

“We are pleased with our return on investment from this transaction in 3.5 years,” said president, CEO, and vice-chairman Toby Chu.

CIBT said it will concentrate on its other brands, including Sprott Shaw College, Ascenda School of Management and CIBT School of Business China. 

"We will focus on the Canadian domestic market as our base, and expand our international network of student recruitment for substantial growth," the company said in a release.

CIBT plans to broaden its student base through the acquisition of schools with an emphasis on long-term technical training, university-level degree programs and kindergarten to grade 12 education. This includes deals for a chain of K-12 schools in Asia that would act as feeders to partners in Canada and the U.S.

It said it also plans to recruit more international students by expanding its Global Education Alliance division and gather a portfolio of real estate projects to provide accomodation for students attending schools in North America.

Taking a shopping mall approach, CIBT said it is developing two education super centres in Vancouver. The concept, called Global Education City, will attempt to consolidate public and private educational institutionsm, as well as a long-stay hotel, at one centralized location. The centre will also have recruitment agencies, travel agencies, immigration consultants and financial institutions. 

Tue, 03 Sep 2013 21:01:00 +0100
Barnes & Noble CEO quits on back of Nook losses Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) is without a CEO after the resignation of William Lynch announced Monday. The resignation has immediate effect.

The move comes a matter of days after the firm announced a 34 per cent year-on-year drop in the sales of e-books and devices, leading to the company’s Nook division recording a $177 million loss for the quarter. The losses culminated in the retailer's decision to stop making its own Nook colour touchscreen tablets, announcing the manufacturing would be farmed out to a third party.

Lynch came to the United States biggest book retailer with a background in e-commerce at a time when the bookstore chain was seeking to make in-roads into the online selling so successfully pioneered by competitor Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Lynch’s most recent position before his stint as CEO was as president of Barnes & Prior to this, he had experience running the ancillary website of Home Shopping Network, and IAC’s

However, converting a bricks-and-mortar retailer to an online seller proved tricky, with the bookstore’s most recent quarter reporting a loss of more than $118 million, widening the previous year’s losses by as much again, with a 9 per cent drop in revenue stemming from e-books also recorded.

Lynch has also resigned as a director of the company.

The company’s former chief financial officer, Michael Huseby, is stepping up to fill the CEO slot of Nook Media LLC and president of Barnes & Noble, Inc., with Allen Londstrom taking over for him as corporate CFO.

“We thank William Lynch for helping transform Barnes & Noble into a leading digital content provider and for leading in the development of our award-winning line of NOOK products including NOOK Simple Touch, NOOK Simple Touch Glowlight, and NOOK HD and NOOK HD+,” said chairman Leonard Riggio in a company statement released with the announcement.

“As the bookselling industry continues to undergo significant transformation, we believe that Michael, Mitchell [Klipper, CEO of the Barnes & Noble Retail Group] and Max [ J. Roberts, CEO of Barnes & Noble College] are the right executives to lead us into the future.”

The company statement added that Barnes & Noble is in the process of reviewing its current strategic plan and will provide an update “when appropriate.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as CEO of this terrific company over the last three years,” said Lynch, quoted in the same company statement.

“There is a great executive team and Board in place at Barnes & Noble, and I look forward to the many innovations the Company will be bringing to its millions of physical and digital media customers in the future.”

Shares in Barnes and Noble were up 24 cents in pre-market trading Tuesday, the day after the announcement, from a previous close of $17.66 on Monday.

Tue, 09 Jul 2013 14:40:00 +0100
Barnes & Noble shares slide as Q4 loss much wider than anticipated; to exit tablet making business Shares in Barnes and Noble  (NYSE:BKS) took a major slide Tuesday as the retailing giant released some lackluster figures for its fourth fiscal quarter, including a loss that was twice as wide as analysts estimated, with the New York-headquartered bookseller blaming the NOOK, saying it plans to exit the tablet manufacturing business altogether. 

For the quarter to April 27, the retailer, which is considering breaking itself up, posted a net loss of $118.6 million, or $2.11 per share, as compared to the prior year net loss of $56.9 million, or $1.06 per share. 

Fourth quarter revenue came in at $1.28 billion, down from the year ago figure of $1.38 billion, a 7.4 per cent drop. 

Results were down on analyst estimates, which called for a loss of 99 cents per share on revenue of $1.33 billion.

The retail segment, made up of the Barnes & Noble bookstores and businesses, posted EBITDA of $51 million, down from the $67 million recorded the year before, a decrease of 23.9 per cent, on revenues of $948 million for the quarter, a 10 per cent drop from the year ago figure of $1.05 billion.

The drop in sales was attributable to decreases in comparable store sales of 8.8 per cent for the quarter, as well as store closures and lower online sales. 

Lower NOOK unit volume and a stronger title lineup in the prior year period including The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey trilogies contributed to the decrease. Core comparable bookstore sales, which exclude sales of NOOK products, decreased 5.8 per cent in the quarter, the company said. 

The College segment posted EBITDA of $3.8 million, up from the flat year ago figure, on revenues of $252 million, an increase of 10.7 per cent from $228 million. Fourth quarter sales were positively impacted by the back-to-school rush season, which extended into the quarter. 

Comparable College store sales, which reflects the retail selling price of a new or used textbook when rented, rather than solely the rental fee received and amortized over the rental period, increased 7.5 per cent for the quarter, 

The NOOK segment, which consists of the company's digital business (including devices, digital content and accessories), had revenues of $108 million for the quarter, a decrease of 34 per cent. The unit recorded a loss of $177 million, widening the $77 million loss recorded in the same quarter a year ago by almost 130 per cent.

Digital content sales decreased 8.9 per cent due in part to the device sales shortfall as well as the comparison to the The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey trilogies a year ago.    

The company said it plans to curtail the losses incurred by the NOOK segment by getting out of the tablet-making business altogether. While the company plans to continue to design eReading devices and reading platforms, production is to be turned over to a third party partner for the competitive color tablet market.

“Thus, the widely popular lines of Simple Touch and Glowlight products will continue to be developed in house,” said a company statement released with the figures, “and the company’s tablet line will be co-branded with yet to be announced third party manufacturers of consumer electronics products.”

“We are taking big steps to reduce the losses in the NOOK segment, as we move to a partner-centric model in tablets and reduce overhead costs,"  said chief executive officer William Lynch. "We plan to continue to innovate in the single purpose black-and-white eReader category, and the underpinning of our strategy remains the same today as it has since we first entered the digital market, which is to offer customers any digital book, magazine or newspaper, on any device.”

The company said it expects a decline “in the high-single digits on a percentage basis” in fiscal 2014 comparable bookstore sales, as well as a smaller decline in college same-store sales. 

Shares in the company were trading well down the day of the release of figures, hitting as low as $15.48, a drop of over 15 per cent from a previous close of $18.82 per share. 

Tue, 25 Jun 2013 17:38:00 +0100
ePals reports wider Q4 loss on impairment charges; revenues more than double  

ePals Corp. (CVE:SLN), an education media company, reported a widened net loss in the fourth quarter on impairment charges as the company focused on expansion. 

Net loss for the three months that ended Dec. 31 widened to $14.1 million, or 9 cents a share, from $4.8 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, Herndon, Virgina-based company said in a statement on Monday.  

ePals ascribed the widened loss to a $6.7 million impairment of goodwill and intangible assets. The company recorded a $4.6 million impairment loss on goodwill and a $2.0 million impairment loss on other intangibles during last year, according to the statement.

Revenue for the Oct.-Dec. period more than doubled to $4.6 million.

The company added 1.5 million users in the fourth quarter, 116 percent more than the previous quarter's additions. As of Dec. 31, 2012, ePals had 11.1 million registered users, a 45 percent increase from the year earlier period, as the company expands worldwide. 

"In the fourth quarter ePals demonstrated traction with increased user growth and engagement, and set the stage for international growth through our initiatives in Europe and China," CEO Miles Gilburne said in the statement.

Subscriptions dropped 1 percent to 584,000 subscribers at the end of Dec. 31. The average revenue per user more than tripled, however, to $1.63 per user.

ePals shares were unchanged at 16 Canadian cents at the market close in Toronto on Friday. The stock has given up its value by more than half since the beginning of the year.

ePals offers social learning networks focused on the kindergarten to grade 12 market that connect millions of users in over 330,000 schools for collaboration around content and educational projects.  The company also publishes children's literature in physical and digital formats.

During the fourth quarter, ePals received approval and business license from the Chinese government for its joint venture with NeuEdu Co. and executed an additional agreement with Neusoft Publishing. The joint venture operates as NeuPals, and has been capitalized by its partners, ePals and NeuEdu Co., Ltd. 

The company executed initial launches of native language extensions of the ePals Global Community and focused on audience acquisition. Initial content relationships have been signed in Europe and discussions are underway with potential strategic partners and commercial sponsors for ePals Europe, it said in the statement.

In July, the company launched a digital app and publishing platform starting with its magazines Cricket and Babybug, which can be accessed on smartphones and tablet devices.


Mon, 29 Apr 2013 20:44:00 +0100
ePals says shareholders, including chief, commit to $7.5 mln of $10 mln convertible debt financing ePals Corp. (CVE:SLN), an education media company, said it will sell $10 million in senior secured convertible debentures to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes and working capital.

ePals shareholders, including chairman and CEO Miles Gilburne, have committed to buy $7.5 million of the new issue, the Herndon, Virgina-based company said in a statement on Wednesday.  

Each $1,000 principal amount of debentures will be convertible into 2,500 voting common shares of ePals, at the option of the holder, representing a conversion price of 40 cents a share.

The debentures will have a maturity date of October 31, 2014, extendable, at ePals' option, to October 31, 2016.

The debentures will rank senior to other debt of the company, including the secured debentures issued by ePals on October 19, 2012, and will bear interest at a rate of 10 percent per year, payable annually. 

Shares of ePals, which has a market value of C$9.4 million, rose as much as 15 percent to 15 cents right before trade closing in Toronto Wednesday, trimming this year's losses to 62 percent. 

ePals serves approximately 1 million classrooms and reaches millions of teachers, students and parents in around 200 countries and territories.  ePals customers and partners include Microsoft Corp., Dell Inc., IBM Corp., National Geographic and school districts across the United States and globally. 

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 19:59:00 +0000
Barnes & Noble introduces new Nook video offering

Book seller Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) has upped the ante by introducing a video streaming and downloading service for Nook devices. 

The latest offering from the New York-based retailer is slated to premiere this fall with movies and TV shows from major studios including HBO, Starz, Sony Pictures, Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA), Warner Bros and Walt Disney Studios (NYSE:DIS).

Barnes & Noble also noted it is planning to make available content from other studios, but did not specify on a date. 

"Our Nook Video service will give customers another way to be entertained with a vast and growing digital video collection, as part of our expansive Nook Store," chief executive William Lynch said in a statement. 

Barnes & Noble said the service will be available in the U.S. by fall, and be introduced in the U.K. this coming holiday season.

The films that can be streamed and downloaded will include Toy Story 3, The Avengers, and 21 Jump Street, among other, while its TV offerings will include Breaking Bad, Dora the Explorer and the Walking Dead. 

These shows and videos from the Nook store will be stored in the Nook Cloud, the company said. 

Users will be able to view them on Barnes & Noble's Nook tablets and other devices with the Nook Video app, which the company plans to launch soon.

Shares of the company still lost 2.20 per cent to $12.45 each on the New York Stock Exchange this afternoon. 

In late August, the company trimmed its net losses for its fiscal first-quarter amid sales growth due to strong sales of "Fifty Shades of Grey."

The book seller narrowed its net loss to $40.9 million, or 78 cents per share, compared with a loss of $56.6 million, or 99 cents per share, a year-earlier. 

Revenue edged up to $1.45 billion from $1.41 billion. 

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 20:40:00 +0100
ePals posts wider Q2 loss, but revenue rises sharply

ePals Corp. (CVE:SLN) posted a wider net loss in its second-quarter Wednesday, which masked its sharp revenue gains as international registration drove user growth.

The Herndon, Virginia-based education media company offers social learning networks focused on the kindergarten to grade 12 market that connect millions of users in over 330,000 schools for collaboration around content and educational projects. 

ePals also publishes children's literature in physical and digital formats.

Revenue grew to $2.96 million, up from $485,000 a year-ago, as average revenue per user rose to 35 cents versus eight cents.

However, its net loss widened to $4.15 million, compared with a loss of $2.32 million in the prior-year period. On a per share basis, the company's loss was three cents compared to 82 cents a year ago. 

It had around 135 millon weighted average shares outstanding in the latest quarter, versus 2.8 million in the second quarter of 2011. 

"Our metrics reflect increased adoption of collaborative learning solutions on a national and global basis," chief executive Miles Gilburne said in a statement.

Indeed, ePals' subscription base rose to 534,000 in second quarter. That is up from the 222,000 for the same comparable year period a year earlier. 

Total registered users jumped 45 per cent to nine million, as overseas registrations drove user growth. 

Total operating expenses for the first half of the year were roughly $15.6 million, an increase of $10.5 million compared to the year-earlier period, which was prior to the company's public listing on the TSX Venture Exchange, and before business acquisitions made in between the comparable periods.

Around $6.5 million of the year-over-year increase in operating expenses was also attributable to the establishment of the company's home-based business, it said. 

ePals said it also launched several initiatives during the second quarter aimed at driving user registration and new subscriptions during the second half of the year, including digital marketing efforts. 

"One of our objectives for the remainder of 2012 and into 2013 is focus on the international markets that present significant growth opportunities and reach more than a billion students worldwide," ePal president Ed Fish said.  

"With plans in place for China and Europe, we'll increasingly focus on introducing our products to additional international markets through both new and existing global channel partners."

In July, the company launched a digital app and publishing platform starting with its magazines Cricket and Babybug, which can be accessed on smartphones and tablet devices.

Wed, 29 Aug 2012 15:38:00 +0100
Barnes & Noble narrows Q1 loss as "Fifty Shades" lifts sales

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) reduced net losses for its fiscal first-quarter earnings Tuesday, amid revenue growth and strong sales of "Fifty Shades of Grey".

The bookseller narrowed its net loss to $40.9 million, or 78 cents per share, compared with a loss of $56.6 million, or 99 cents per share, a year-earlier. Revenue edged up to $1.45 billion from $1.41 billion.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg expected a per-share loss of 98 cents on $1.5 billion in revenue for the quarter ended July 28.

"During the first quarter, we continued to see improvement in both our rapidly growing NOOK business, which saw digital content sales increase 46% during the quarter, and at our bookstores, which continue to benefit from market consolidation and strong sales of the Fifty Shades series," Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said.

"The growth in comps at retail and the continued strong growth of our digital content business, as well as increased cost management focus, were drivers in the business turning from an EBITDA loss last year to slightly positive EBITDA in the first quarter of this year."

The company’s retail unit, which consists of Barnes & Noble’s bookstores, posted $1.11 billion in sales, up from the $1.09 billion a year-earlier. 

Same-store bookstore sales rose 4.6 per cent, thanks to the liquidation of Border’s bookstores and strong books sales for "Fifty Shades of Grey". 

Its college division, which sells textbooks and apparel, took home $220.7 million in sales. That compares to $220.4 million in revenue in 2012.

Revenue from its Nook segment, which consists of the company’s digital business, was flat at $191 million in the first-quarter. However, digital content sales increased 46 per cent.

Gross margin, a measure of profitability, widened to 28.4 per cent from 27.3 per cent.

In a separate news statement, the bookseller announced Tuesday its Nook readers will now be available in the U.K. this fall.

The New York-based company plans to set-up an online storefront, and marks the first time the company will expand into an international market.

Barnes & Noble said the E Ink reader, Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch with glow light will be the first products available. The company did not say how much it would sell the devices for in the U.K.

Tue, 21 Aug 2012 14:54:00 +0100
Barnes & Noble cuts prices on Nook devices Bookseller Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) cut prices on its Nook Tablet and Nook Color devices late Sunday, ratcheting up for the back to school season.

The New York-based retailer, which has about 27 per cent of the U.S. e-books market, lowered the price of its Nook Tablet with 16 gigabytes of memory to $199 from $249.

Barnes & Noble also cut the price on its eight-gigabyte models to $179 from $199, and reduced the price for its Nook Colour to $149.

The price changes took effect Sunday.

"Our reader’s tablets have consistently been the highest rated products by leading technology experts and now they're available for the lowest prices ever,” said Jamie Iannone, president of digital products, in a statement.

All of the devices include a seven-inch display and provide digital content, including e-books. The Nook tablet was released last year in response to Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire and Kobo’s tablets and offers an array of books, movies and TV shows.

Barnes & Noble’s stock closed Friday at $14.31 - down almost 5 per cent in the last month.

Mon, 13 Aug 2012 13:33:00 +0100
Barnes & Noble narrows Q4 loss Book retailer Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) reported a narrower quarterly net loss on Tuesday as sales at its bookstores improved.

For the quarter ended April 28, Barnes & Noble posted a net loss of $57.7 million, or $1.08 per share, for the quarter, compared with a loss of $59.4 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts expected a loss of 92 cents per share. Revenue was nearly flat at $1.38 billion. Analysts expected $1.48 billion.

Same-store sales at its 700 superstores rose 4.5 percent compared with the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue at its Nook business, including e-books and the devices, fell 19 percent $164 million during the fourth quarter, as the company took returns of the Nook Simple Touch reader that did not sell as well as expected during the holiday season.

"We grew our business in 2012 while continuing to make the necessary investments for the future of the business," said Barnes & Noble's CEO William Lynch.

"In digital, our NOOK content sales continued to explode with 119 percent year-on year growth.

"At retail, we had a terrific year growing comparable bookstore sales 4.5 percent for the quarter and 1.4 percent for the year, a result of our effective new merchandising efforts and continued industry consolidation.

"As we look out to fiscal 2013, we feel the company is strategically well positioned to grow value for shareholders."

Gross margin rose to 28.9 percent from 27.4 percent.

Last month, Barnes & Noble entered a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), which pledged $605 million to help bolster the Nook business.

As part of the investment, the software maker will get a 17.6 percent stake in a subsidiary that will include the e-book division and Barnes & Noble's college bookstore unit. As part of the move, a Nook application will be included in the new Windows 8 operating system, set for release later this year.

However, Microsoft on Monday unveiled its own tablet computer called the Surface that comes with a keyboard and other features designed to stand out in a market dominated by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Tue, 19 Jun 2012 14:42:00 +0100
Barnes & Noble lands $300 mln Microsoft investment Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Monday revealed plans to invest $300 million in Barnes & Noble's (NYSE:BKS) Nook e-reader and college text businesses.

Monday morning, shares of the bookseller soared more than 60 percent to $22.60.

The surprise alliance aims to capitalize on the transformation in the publishing world in favor of rapidly-growing digital text.

"Microsoft's investment and our exciting collaboration to bring world-class digital reading technologies and content to the Windows platform and its hundreds of millions of users, will allow us to significantly expand the business," Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said.

Microsoft president Andy Lees added: "The shift to digital is putting the world’s libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person’s hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content."

As part of the deal, the two companies are forming a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will house the Nook and college businesses and after the investment by Microsoft, will have a valuation of $1.7 billion.

The new division, being called Newco for now, will be 82.4 percent owned by New York-based Barnes & Noble, while Microsoft will own the remaining 17.6 percent.

The alliance includes a deal to produce a Nook application for Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

Barnes & Noble disclosed plans in January to consider a spinoff of its digital business to maximize shareholder value.

It now says it plans to "explore all alternatives for how a strategic separation" of the new division may occur, but warned there is no guarantee it will result in a stand-alone public company.

Microsoft and Barnes & Noble also said they have settled their patent litigation, and Barnes & Noble and Newco will now have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for the Nook eReader and tablet devices.

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 15:23:00 +0100
Peoples Educational posts wider Q2 loss, sales decline Peoples Educational Holdings (NASDAQ:PEDH) said Thursday its second quarter net loss widened on soft sales.
the company re-affirmed its full-year earnings guidance for 2012.

The publisher of print and digital educational materials for the K-12 school market said total revenues declined to $4.56 million from a year ago figure of $6.15 million. Its latest quarter ended November 30, 2011.

The company also posted a wider net loss of $869,000, or 19 cents a share, compared to a year earlier net loss of $581,000, or 13 cents a share.

Saddle-Brook-based Peoples Educational Holdings saw its stock decline 0.25 percent to reach 80 cents a share Thursday afternoon on the Nasdaq.

Chief executive, Brian Beckwith, said: "Although all three of our product groups experienced revenue declines, the test preparation, assessment and instruction product group accounted for $1.8 million of the decline. This is primarily a result of a decline in revenue generated out of Texas."

Texas currently is transitioning to new standards and tests, the company said, adding that schools and districts have cut expenditures which impacted Peoples' revenue.

The company also noted that as schools make the transition and need products that support the new standards and tests, it creates future opportunities.

Selling, general and administrative costs narrowed to $2.8 million down from $3.3 million a year ago, while gross profit slipped to $1.5 million from $2.5 million.

Looking forward, the company re-affirmed its prior guidance for the year despite softness in its sales. The company foresees sales between $30 to $32 million and earnings within a range of $400,000 and $600,000.

People’s Educational Holdings develops and markets supplementary materials for the elementary and secondary market and distributes other publishers’ products for the college preparation and literacy markets.

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 17:17:00 +0000
Barnes & Noble shares plunge as Q2 disappoints Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) saw its shares plummet Thursday after its second fiscal quarter losses came in below expectations, as weak sales at its stores and higher expenses overshadowed online sales growth.

For the three months that ended October 29, net loss was $6.6 million, or 17 cents per share, as compared to a net loss of $12.6 million, or 22 cents per share, a year ago.

The latest quarter included a six-cent per share loss related to the company's preferred stock dividend, it said.
Analysts were expecting a profit of three cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Total sales edged down 0.6 percent as compared to the prior year, from $1.90 billion to $1.89 billion.

Shares were down almost 17 percent to $14.52 as of 3:01pm ET on Thursday.

Barnes & Noble store sales decreased one percent to $918 million, with comparable sales decreasing 0.6 percent. Physical book sales declined, partially offset by increases in its e-reading NOOK products, the book retailer said.

Meanwhile, the company's college unit sales declined four percent to $768 million, due to a shift from selling new and used textbooks to lower priced, higher margin textbook rentals.

But sales increased 17 percent over the prior year to $206 million. Comparable sales increased 38 percent, driven by continued growth of digital content sales and purchases of NOOK devices. This unit saw earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) losses, however, due to planned product markdowns on the recently-announced NOOK price adjustments, as well as higher advertising costs.

In early November, concurrent with the launch of its new NOOK tablet, the company also announced new low prices for NOOK Color and NOOK Simple Touch, retailing at $199 and $99, respectively.

The consolidated NOOK business across all of the company’s segments, including sales of digital content, device hardware and related accessories, increased 85 percent in the second quarter to $220 million, Barnes & Noble said.

"The launch of NOOK Tablet, combined with the product enhancements to NOOK Color and $99 NOOK Simple Touch, represents the highest-quality portfolio of digital reading products on the market at incredible values,” said CEO William Lynch.

"We expect to sell millions of devices during our third quarter, adding to the millions of current NOOK customers."

For the full year, however, the company said it expects EBITDA to be at the lower end of its previous range of $210 to $250 million, as although the company expects increases in retail earnings, it plans to invest more heavily in customer acquisition activities to fuel NOOK digital growth.

Over the three-day holiday Thanksgiving weekend, the company also said comparable store sales increased 10.9 percent at Barnes & Noble stores, on top of 17 percent comparable store growth last year.

"Based on early sales and traffic results in stores we are encouraged by our prospects for this upcoming holiday," concluded Lynch.

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 19:00:00 +0000
ePals to acquire Carus Publishing in $15 mln cash and stock deal ePals (CVE:SLN) said it has reached a definitive agreement to buy Carus Publishing in a cash and stock deal accelerating the company’s entrance into the home subscription market. 

The price tag is $5 million in cash and $10 million in ePals stock with an agreed value of 64 cents a share, or 15.6 million shares, subject to adjustment, to which Carus will merge with an indirect wholly-owned unit of ePals.

The deal, expected to close in early-to-mid December, also involves cash earn-out payments to Carus between 2012 and 2014 worth $3.5 million per year, if revenue growth targets are met or exceeded.

After the deal closes, ePals will have more than 600,000 paid subscriptions across school and home as well as “direct relationships” with roughly 20 percent of U.S.-based schools, and reach to more than 7 million users in classrooms and homes in 200 plus countries. 

In a statement, ePals chief executive Miles Gilburne, said: “The combination of ePals and Carus offers all of the pieces necessary to create a 24/7 dynamic learning environment in which students from around the corner or around the world, as well as their teachers, parents and mentors, can safely collaborate with each other around high quality content.”

Carus Publishing, which includes the Cricket Magazine Group, Cobblestone Publishing and Open Court Publishing, prints 14 magazine titles covering age groups from 0 to 14 plus on a variety of subjects like science, fiction, history and culture.

The acquisition, which flows from the company’s public listing four months ago, will help define how a 21st century education media company can integrate traditional and new media formats to create and deliver evidenced-based learning with greater scale and adaptability but at less cost, ePals said. 

Carus’ chairman, Blouke Carus, said: “Now that literacy is broadening to new platforms and new forms of literate community are emerging, we realized we needed to partner with a company that had deep expertise in these new media and new community platforms.”

Separately, ePals posted revenues spiked 61 percent to $612,000 in the three months ended September 30. That compares with $380,000, a year earlier.

The rise stemmed from increased sales from LearningSpace, and SchoolMail as well as from ePals media business which it develops and distributes third-party learning and educational products to teachers and students globally.

However, the company saw its net loss widen to $8.5 million compared with a year-ago net loss of $2.4 million. Excluding one-time items, loss for the quarter logged in at $3.8 million, or 5 cents a share.

Shares of ePals fell by one penny, or 1.64 percent, to reach 60 cents on Toronto’s junior venture exchange.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 15:12:00 +0000
China's Global Education & Technology snagged by Pearson in $294 mln deal Global Education & Technology Group (NASDAQ:GEDU) saw its shares nearly double on the Nasdaq on Monday, after announcing its plans to be acquired by a subsidiary of Pearson plc (NYSE:PSO) for a total of $294 million in cash.

Based in the Peoples Republic of China, Global provides educational tools designed to help students prepare for internationally-recognized English language assessment tests.

Pearson, through its subsidiaries, Pearson, The Financial Times Group, and Penguin Group, offers a variety of digital and print learning materials, news sources and published fiction, non-fiction, and classic novels.

Global stock skyrocketed 96.46 percent to $10.55, as of 12:08 pm EDT. Meanwhile, Pearson shares were down 1.49 percent to $17.17.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pearson will acquire all outstanding common shares and American Depository Shares (ADS), which are equivalent to four common shares, for $2.75 in cash per common share, and $11.01 in cash per ADS.

The deal represents a 105 percent premium over Global's closing price on Friday, and a 214 percent premium over its 30-day weighted average price on Friday.

The transaction has already won the approval of Global's board of directors, who recommended that its shareholders adopt the agreement.

Global's CEO Yongqi Zhang, chairman Xiaodong Zhang, and other parties who collectively hold 42.9 percent of the company's outstanding shares, have agreed to vote in favour of the Pearson bid.

Additionally, SB Asia Investment Fund, which holds a 26.7 percent interest Global, also pldeged its support.

The deal is subject to customary approvals, and is expected to close by year-end. Once closed, Global will become a privately-held company, and its American Depository Shares will halt trading on the Nasdaq Exchange.

CEO Zhang commented: "We believe that this transaction presents a unique and very attractive opportunity for us to fulfill our commitment to maximize value for the company's shareholders.

"We also believe the Pearson group is an ideal home for our employees and customers and that Pearson's global platform and aim of progress through learning will contribute greatly in growing the company's business of helping students in China pass internationally recognized assessments that will help them fulfill their ambitions."

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 17:30:00 +0000
Barnes & Noble partners with self-publisher Bookstore giant Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) announced Tuesday it has partnered with, a self-publishing company, to publish authors' work through its NOOK eReader. founder and CEO, Bob Young said: "This partnership is another step in our passionate effort to help Lulu creators reach more readers and sell more books.

"We expect that eBooks, which represents the greatest area of opportunity for our creators, will continue to evolve rapidly and the NOOK reaches a whole new audience of readers to discover and purchase our creators' remarkable works."

Indeed, researchers at said authors who publish work as an eBook as well as a print edition tend to sell 30% more units than those who sell in print alone.

Approximately 1.1 million authors and 20,000 titles are added to's catalogue each month. The company provides a publishing platform for writers in exchange for a percentage of profits from each sale.

Barnes & Noble VP of eBooks, Jim Hilt commented: "We are excited to partner with to bring its catalog of fantastic eBooks to our rapidly growing community of millions of NOOK owners and readers.

"Barnes & Noble is a leader in digital reading because of our commitment to bring readers new and unique eBooks by great authors that can be found with partners like"

Further details of the deal were not disclosed.

In New York, Barnes & Noble shares rose 3.74% to $13.33 as of 3:36 pm EDT.

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 20:46:00 +0100
Barnes & Noble narrows losses on e-reader sales growth Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) announced Tuesday it narrowed its first quarter losses on a 2% hike in sales, largely from its e-reader product line, offsetting a lag in sales from its physical locations.

For the three months ending July 30, the bookseller posted a net loss of $56.6 million, or $0.99 loss per share, compared to a $62.5 million loss, or $1.12 loss per share, a year ago.

Sales hiked 2% to $1.42 billion, from $1.40 billion in the same period last year. Through its website,, sales rose 37% to $198 million, with online comparable sales improving 65%, driven by increasing demand of the NOOK e-reader product line.

"Our NOOK eReaders and applications continue to be cited as the finest digital reading products on the market, with the new NOOK Simple Touch Reader recently rated as the best eReader," said CEO, William Lynch.

"We plan to continue investing in the significant growth areas of our business, and in fiscal 2012, we expect to see leverage as our digital sales growth is projected to exceed the growth of investment spend."

For the full year, Barnes & Noble said it expects overall sales of $7.4 billion, with comparable store sales rising between 60% and 70% at, between 2% and 3% at physical locations, and flat at its College brand.

The company, which had stopped providing earnings guidance two quarters ago, shortly after the bankruptcy and subsequent closure of bookstore giant, Borders, also said it expects losses to be in the range of $0.10 to $0.50 per share for the year.

In New York, Barnes & Noble shares rose 11.55% as of 3:27 pm EDT, to trade at $12.75.

Barnes & Noble's NOOK business, which includes the e-reader device, related accessories and digital content, saw its sales more than double to $277 million during the first quarter.

Sales at the company's physical locations, however, decreased 3% to $1.0 billion, with comparable store sales, or those of locations open at least one year, decreasing 1.6%. At its College Bookstore locations, sales were negatively impacted by a non-back-to-school season, dropping 2% to $220 million, with same store sales decreasing 1.8%.

Gross margins rose to 27.3%, up 210 basis points from a year earlier.

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 21:09:00 +0100
Training group ILX lifted by ‘considereable’ new business wins Shares in computer based business training specialist ILX Group PLC (AIM: ILX) were lifted by the announcement it won considerable new business in the current financial year, including several major contracts from its competitors.

The stock was trading up 12 percent by midday.

The new contracts total in excess of £500,000.  The largest contract, which has been won from a competitor, is to train the graduate intake of a major European investment bank.  Revenues from this client in 2009 are expected to be £250,000, the bulk of which will be billed during August and September.
Its unit CTG has also secured a contract, estimated to be worth £100,000, with a large global investment bank for its analyst training programme, which will run through the summer.
In addition, CTG is now the trainer of choice to two of the UK's leading private equity firms. In 2009, CTG will deliver the inaugural graduate programme for one, whilst the other has again chosen CTG to run its intern and analyst training courses.
CTG also now delivers public courses for two accounting professional bodies.
In a strategically important development, CTG will train the US recruits for the New York office of one of its key UK based investment banking clients, ILX added.
Chief executive Ken Scott commented: "The market remains very difficult, but the company is in good shape and continues to win market share."

Tue, 28 Jul 2009 12:25:00 +0100
ILX Group bookings "well ahead of last year"
The company said booking into 2008 were ahead of the same period last year and that a recent restructuring had benefited both sales and margins.

"In light of our order books and the visibility of future earnings we view the prospects for the rest of the year with confidence." commented Chief Executive Ken Scott.
Mon, 08 Oct 2007 02:05:00 +0100
VR Education in right place at right time as online education booms David Whelan has built 3D education platform VR Education Holdings Plc (LON:VRED) from a €1,000 loan from his sister into a £20mln market cap AIM-listed company in three years.
But with demand for online education soaring around the globe, this is just the start he tells Proactive.

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:49:00 +0000
Progility focused on diversification Progility (LON:PYG) chief Wayne Bos tells Proactiveinvestors, that diversification is the key to their strategy.

Progility PLC is the holding company of a project management services group specialising in people, processes, training and systems integration.

The group has four divisions: Technology Solutions, Training, Consulting and Recruitment.

Bos also talked about the new management team who are working well to create value. Although Bos doesn't want to oversell the progress that they have made over the last 3 years as they have realigned the company, he admits that 2015 has been a transformative year for the company.

Tue, 21 Jul 2015 07:30:00 +0100