Turnover hit a high of £7.8m – up almost 42% from £5.5m 12 months earlier – for the financial year 2016-17, a period in which new strategic partnerships with specialist content developers MicroLearn and Video Arts were secured and Unicorn opened a new Brighton office, joining the company’s teams of experienced eLearning professionals in London and Bournemouth.
Remaining free from the short-term demands of the City or private equity investors has been an important factor in Unicorn’s sustained growth, enabling the company to plan long term and reinvest profits in product improvement and services to meet customer needs.
This strategy is paying dividends as in 2017 Unicorn LMS was ranked the world’s number 1 LMS for the financial sector for the third year running* and the UK’s top LMS overall**, while Unicorn, with partners the University of London and Learning Age Solutions Ltd (LAS), won the Gold Award for Best Use of Simulations or Virtual Environments at the Learning Technologies Awards.
Peter Phillips, Unicorn CEO, said: “Each of our main business streams - content development, platform licences, off the shelf compliance solutions, and games and simulations - achieved double digit growth in the financial year. With our focus on customer service helping us to achieve very high renewal levels on our subscription services, the business has strong cash flow that has enabled us to grow without the need for external finance.”
Brothers Peter and Andy Phillips founded Unicorn in 1988, three years before the World Wide Web was even publicly introduced.
Since then the company has evolved and grown as technology has advanced from floppy disks and CD-roms to the interconnected, permanently online digital world we live in today. Yet creating engaging and effective interactive learning has remained the constant at the heart of Unicorn’s business philosophy, and this will be as true as ever in 2018.
With the world of digital learning developing rapidly, and new technologies bringing great opportunities to enhance learning effectiveness and business productivity, Unicorn launches its new Digital Learning business unit this year.
This unit will further marry the skills of Unicorn’s mobile business, Amuzo, in developing Apps and mobile games worldwide with Unicorn’s existing digital learning expertise, giving customers the quality of online learning experiences their employees now demand.
Meanwhile, Socrates, the UK’s leading provider of online compliance training for law firms, also recently joined the Unicorn Training Group, and Unicorn’s partnership with AXELOS Global Best Practice continues to go from strength-to-strength in delivering critical cyber security training.
Peter added: “I am pleased to report another year of healthy growth in sales and profits for 2016-17, and Unicorn shows no sign of slowing down in the current financial year. Continued organic growth across the business and the further boost from our acquisitions and strategic partnerships means group sales are set to exceed £9m for 2017-18.
“The delivery of learning content to mobile devices is increasingly important and this was a key factor in our acquiring a majority stake in Amuzo, whose team have skills far ahead of our main competitors in the eLearning sector. Our business strategy has left Unicorn well placed and ready to play our part in shaping what is guaranteed to be an exciting future.”
Come and see Unicorn on Stand P14 at Learning Technologies 2018 at Olympia, London on 31 January – 1 February. Visit www.unicorntraining.com for more information.
*Source: eLearning 24/7 – State of the LMS Industry Global Report 2017
** Source - The Craig Weiss Group - The Inside Report - Learning Systems (Nov 2017)