IDP Education Sees Strong Market Recovery Ahead

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IDP Education Sees Strong Market Recovery Ahead

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  • IDP now has sole distribution rights for the International English Language Testing System (‘IELTS’) in India, which is the largest and the fastest growing IELTS market globally
  • IELTS is accepted by 11,000 organisations, providing IDP with a global platform reaching the world’s largest community of students
  • Innovative technology and data science provides IDP with enabling technology and infrastructure for smarter course matching for students and enhanced productivity for course advisors.

IDP Education Limited is Australia’s largest provider of international student placement services, with an estimated 23 percent market share. It offers international student placement services in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, UK, Republic of Ireland and Canada. It also owns and operates English language schools in South-East Asia and has more than 100 offices in 31 countries.

The Group owns one-third of the International English Language Testing System (‘IELTS’), the world’s largest high stakes English proficiency test. The IELTS is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.

FY21 Operational and Financial Performance Highlights

The COVID-19 pandemic presented significant operational challenges to the Group due to international border closures and visa processing delays. UK placements were up 4 percent as students travelled to UK to commence their studies, despite ongoing restrictions. However, student placements were down by 25 percent overall, with Australian placement volumes down by 40 percent and Canadian volumes down 12 percent. English language teaching courses were down 22 percent, due to school closures during lockdown.   

On the positive side, 100 new computer-delivered test centres were opened during the year. This was in response to government restrictions which limited the delivery of paper-based testing in large venues. Demand for IELTS was up 5 percent, with 115 million tests administered in FY21. Volumes would have been higher but for the second wave of COVID-19 in India. Digital marketing performed strongly and data insights and consultancy services grew 110 percent year-on-year.

Net profit after tax, adjusted for intangible asset amortisation arising from business combinations, was down 36 percent to $45 million, while revenue declined by 10 percent to $528 million. Statutory net profit after tax was $39.4 million and earnings per share came in at 14.26 cents.  Cash flow from operations was $117 million. Net cash was steady at $250 million at year-end.  

Looking Ahead

IDP research shows that students are retaining their study intentions, with 79 percent of students with current offers holding on to their plans. Recent research also highlights that more students are warming to the blended model of online start before moving to a face-to-face delivery mode.

Student volumes to Northern Hemisphere destinations are up 120 percent in Q1 FY22. Australia remains weak, with student volumes to Australia down 24 percent in Q1 FY22, compared to the same period in FY21.

IDP now has sole distribution rights for IELTS in India, which is the largest and the fastest growing 

IELTS market globally. IDP is ideally placed to build its long-term presence in this significant market. IELTS is accepted by 11,000 organisations, providing reach to the world’s largest community of students, from which to launch its products and services.

Continued investment in technology and a data science team provides IDP with technology and infrastructure that enables smarter course matching for students and enhances the productivity of expert course advisors, facilitating virtual counselling, applications and events. These data insights support customer-focused strategies that are driving the recovery in student placements in support of IDP’s global ambitions.

Caroline Wong

Caroline Wong is a Research Analyst at KOSEC – Kodari Securities. She writes on markets and focuses on ASX Top 300 companies. Email Caroline at c.wong@kosec.com.au.

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