Sales rise for VR Education’s remote learning tools

Virtual learning company VR Education has reported strong sales growth driven by its flagship online platform, Engage.

The Waterford-based firm said revenue in the first six months of 2020 reached €681,000. That is 37pc higher than a year ago.

Chief executive David Whelan said the world’s adoption of remote working amid the Covid-19 pandemic has proved “transformational for VR Education”. He described the firm’s outlook as “brighter than ever – in stark contrast to the difficulties many corporates are experiencing with restrictions and shutdowns”.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) registered a loss of €0.9m, the same as in 2019.

But analysts said VR Education is well positioned for strong second-half sales, particularly for Engage.

That online virtual learning and corporate training platform generated 33pc of sales in the first half of 2020, up from 18pc a year ago.

A desktop version of Engage was released in December 2018, a mobile version 12 months later.

Following May’s €3m investment by Taiwanese tech firm HTC in VR Education, their partnership means HTC will start reselling Engage services in China in the fourth quarter.

Mr Whelan said VR Education sees “significant opportunities available inside China, as it is one of the countries leading the way in the adoption of XR”. That is short for Extended Reality, an emerging form of virtual reality technology that combines real-life and computer-generated video.

“The board is confident that having a business development team and the support structure of a company like HTC behind the Engage platform will accelerate the overall adoption of the platform in many areas of training, education and enterprise,” he said.

Davy analyst Shane Reilly said VR Education’s second half of 2020 has started well, with several new contracts including to deliver virtual events for Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson.

Davy expects VR Education to reach €1.75m in full-year revenues, 71pc higher than 2019.

“As demand within the US for training and remote distance learning inflates, VR Education aims to capitalise on trial contracts by augmenting product familiarity and increasing order sizes,” Mr Reilly said.

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