In this UK Stock Story, Castlefield Head of Research, David Gorman, introduces Learning Technologies Group (LTG) held in our CFP Castlefield B.E.S.T Sustainable UK Opportunities Fund.
“Our employees are our most important asset.” How many times have we read this bit of vacuous corporate-speak and rolled our eyes? If employers truly value their staff, they will be investing properly in training and development. LTG is here to help with that.
One big lesson that we all should have learned or been reminded of during the pandemic is the importance of people; family, friends, work colleagues. Lockdowns and the working from home revolution made many employees reassess their relationship with work. The “Great Resignation” and the “Great Retirement” have become recognised phenomena across the developed world, as has the practice of hybrid working, enabling workers to bring more flexibility to their lives and employers to retain good staff. We also sense that employees, especially those who, often paid by the hour, could not work from home, have recognised their importance to their organisations and are less willing to do dead-end jobs and be generally undervalued. It’s not enough anymore to offer benefits packages to employees – perks don’t develop or retain staff. Instead, workers are looking for opportunities to develop and grow within their roles. In a competitive job market, good employees are to be cherished and employers who fail to invest in their people deserve to fall behind.
Arguably an even more damaging consequence of lockdowns was the enforced absence of school children and students from their places of learning. The full negative impact of this will be felt for years to come.
We recently invested in a company which offers some solutions to these big challenges; AIM-listed Learning Technologies Group PLC (LTG) is a highly acquisitive market leader in the fast-growing markets of e-learning and people management software. In e-learning, the closure of offices and educational establishments contributed to the rapid rise in online and distance learning enrolments. LTG’s products help organisations to upskill and reskill their workforces and educators to teach. The talent management market refers to the range of software applications that help companies to optimise the recruitment, performance management, training and remuneration of employees.
LTG’s customers are generally mid-size to larger corporates, places of learning and government bodies. The bulk of its sales are generated in the US.
What the company does is best illustrated by a couple of examples. LTG’s Affirmity division provides expert analysis, consulting, training, and software to optimise diversity and inclusion programmes within organisations in the US and here at home. Drawing on decades of experience, Affirmity’s experts guide HR and compliance teams through diversity goal setting.
Open LMS is the world’s biggest commercial Moodle™ provider. Students of all ages will be familiar with Moodle™ (www.moodle.com), which is an open-source e-learning platform widely used by schools and universities in the UK, US and across the world. Lockdowns forced schools, colleges and universities to become eLearning institutions - fast. Moodle™ was created to help educators design online courses in a simple and collaborative manner and, thanks to its open-source philosophy, anyone can make improvements to the programme and share it with the community. What Open LMS does is add new features and functionality to help improve distance teaching and learning.
Our investment in LTG plays to our positive theme of Education and the company enjoys good profit margins as well as a high level of recurring revenues. The company has committed to enhancing its already impressive sustainability credentials and it looks well-placed for further growth in attractive markets.
Written by David Gorman
Information is accurate as at 17.05.2022. Opinions constitute the fund manager’s judgement as of this date and are subject to change without warning. The officers, employees and agents of CIP may have positions in any securities mentioned herein. This material may not be distributed, published or reproduced in whole or in part. With investment, capital is at risk.