VR Education shows first-half loss but says revenue on target

Firm’s €4.1m pretax loss includes IPO-related costs as sales rise 30% to €300,000

Chief executive David Whelan and chief operating officer Sandra Whelan. Photograph: Shane O’Neill

Chief executive David Whelan and chief operating officer Sandra Whelan. Photograph: Shane O’Neill


Irish technology company VR Education incurred a pretax loss of €4.1 million in the first six months of 2018 as the costs of its stock market flotation affected its figures.

But the Waterford-based company, which focuses on the education space, said revenues were expected to meet full-year targets as sales rose 30 per cent to €300,000 in the first half.

The company joined the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and the ESM market of the Irish Stock Exchange in March, raising £6 million in the placing. The money was intended to be used to further develop its virtual social learning and presentation platform Engage, fuel its marketing strategy and produce new content.

VR Education said the pretax loss for the period to June 30th included a non-cash fair-value loss arising on derivative financial liabilities of €2.6 million, when convertible debt and preference shares were converted to ordinary shares, and extinguishment costs of €300,000.

Loss per share for the period was two cent, compared with €1.15 in the same six months of 2017.

Net cash

An ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) loss of €1.2 million was in line with management expectations, the company said. The firm said revenue for the year was expected to be heavily weighted towards the second half.

VR Education had net cash of €4.9 million at the end of the period. The company, which was founded in 2014 by David and Sandra Whelan, uses virtual reality in digital education and corporate training.

Its Engage platform, which allows lessons, meetings and presentations to be held in a virtual, multi-user environment and helps trainers to create pre-recorded or live content, is due for full commercial release in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Mr Whelan said the firm had made “substantial operational progress” since its admission to the stock markets, increasing staff from 20 to 31, including its chief technical officer.