Press Releases & Coverage

SkillSoft Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2010 Results and Raises Full Year Fiscal 2010 Revenue and EPS Targets

-- THIRD QUARTER REVENUE OF $80.4 MILLION AND NET INCOME OF $19.6 MILLION
-- THIRD QUARTER DILUTED EPS OF $0.20
-- THIRD QUARTER ADJUSTED EBITDA OF $32.1 MILLION
-- REDUCED DEBT BY $10.2 MILLION IN THE THIRD QUARTER AND REPURCHASED 1.1 MILLION SHARES FOR $9.9 MILLION
-- CASH, RESTRICTED CASH AND INVESTMENTS OF $66.2 MILLION

NASHUA, N.H., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses, today announced financial results for its third quarter of fiscal 2010.

FISCAL 2010 THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

The Company reported total revenue of $80.4 million for its third quarter ended October 31, 2009 of its fiscal year ending January 31, 2010 (fiscal 2010), which represented a 3% decrease from the $83.1 million reported in its third quarter of the fiscal year ended January 31, 2009 (fiscal 2009). Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 was negatively impacted by approximately $0.6 million due to the differences in foreign exchange rates in effect during the third quarter as compared to the foreign exchange rates during the third quarter of fiscal 2009. The Company's deferred revenue balance at October 31, 2009 was approximately $140.4 million as compared to approximately $142.6 million at October 31, 2008. The 2% decrease in deferred revenue reflects a decline in order intake and billings which was offset by approximately $3.1 million from the positive impact of differences between foreign exchange rates at October 31, 2009 and foreign exchanges rates at October 31, 2008.

On a US generally accepted accounting principles (US GAAP) basis, the Company's net income was $19.6 million, or $0.21 per basic share and $0.20 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 as compared to net income of $12.0 million, or $0.12 per basic share and $0.11 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2009.

"We are pleased that our fiscal 2010 third quarter results exceeded the revenue and EPS range we targeted in August 2009 despite the cautious customer environment in which we continue to operate," said Chuck Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are investing a portion of our incremental adjusted EBITDA (resulting from performance in excess of our projections) in additional international content research and development in the second half of fiscal 2010 to increase our international value proposition and future revenue growth outlook. We are also currently developing our fiscal 2011 operating plans and are considering continued additional investment from our incremental adjusted EBITDA in fiscal 2010 to support future international revenue growth opportunities."

Gross margin increased to 91% for the Company's fiscal 2010 third quarter as compared to 87% for the fiscal 2009 third quarter. The increase in gross margin for the fiscal 2010 third quarter includes a reduction in the amortization of intangible assets related to acquired technology and capitalized software development costs of 2% of revenue, or $1.7 million. Gross margin was further improved due to cost reductions related to personnel, hosting services and consulting expenses as well as a shift in product mix away from royalty-bearing products.

Research and development expenses increased to $12.5 million in the fiscal 2010 third quarter from $12.1 million in the fiscal 2009 third quarter. This increase was primarily due to incremental international content development expenses to support future revenue growth opportunities, partially offset by reductions in compensation and benefits related to certain cost savings initiatives. Research and development expenses were 16% of revenue for the fiscal 2010 third quarter as compared to 15% for the fiscal 2009 third quarter.

Sales and marketing expenses decreased to $23.3 million in the fiscal 2010 third quarter from $26.4 million in the fiscal 2009 third quarter. This decrease was primarily due to a reduction in net sales compensation and sales incentive expenses, as well as decreased marketing expenses and a lower number of non-field sales personnel. Sales and marketing expenses were 29% of revenue for the fiscal 2010 third quarter as compared to 32% for the fiscal 2009 third quarter.

General and administrative expenses decreased to $7.9 million for the fiscal 2010 third quarter from $9.1 million in the fiscal 2009 third quarter. This decrease was primarily due to reductions in professional fees related to the Company's business realignment strategy, which was substantially completed in fiscal 2009, and reductions in personnel and outside contractor expenses. General and administrative expenses were 10% of revenue for the fiscal 2010 third quarter as compared to 11% for the fiscal 2009 third quarter.

The Company's interest expense decreased to $1.6 million for the fiscal 2010 third quarter as compared to $3.4 million for the fiscal 2009 third quarter. This decrease was primarily due to principal payments made to reduce the Company's outstanding debt.

The Company's effective tax rate from continuing operations was 24.3% for the nine month period ended October 31, 2009 and consisted of a cash tax provision of approximately $5.9 million (8.0%) and a non-cash tax provision of approximately $11.9 million (16.3%). This compares to a 38.5% effective tax rate for the nine month period ended October 31, 2008, which consisted of a cash tax provision of approximately $3.1 million (6.3%) and a non-cash tax provision of approximately $15.7 million (32.2%). The decrease in the current year effective tax rate is primarily due to the geographic distribution of worldwide earnings as a result of the business re-alignment that took effect at the beginning of fiscal 2010.

Adjusted EBITDA (an important leverage covenant included in the Company's credit facility) for the fiscal 2010 third quarter was $32.1 million as compared to $28.8 million for the fiscal 2009 third quarter. Adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal 2010 third quarter is calculated by taking net income ($19.6 million) and adding back depreciation and amortization ($0.8 million), amortization of intangible assets and capitalized software development costs ($2.2 million), stock-based compensation ($1.4 million), interest expense ($1.6 million), provision for income taxes ($6.3 million), and other expense net of interest income ($0.2 million). At October 31, 2009, SkillSoft's trailing 12 month debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio was approximately 0.7.

SkillSoft had approximately $66.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash as of October 31, 2009 as compared to $42.7 million as of January 31, 2009. This increase is primarily due to cash provided by operations of $87.8 million and proceeds received of $3.5 million from the exercise of share options under the Company's various share option programs and from share purchases made under the Company's 2004 employee share purchase plan during the first nine months of fiscal 2010. The increase was partially offset by principal payments made of $38.8 million against long term debt, payments of $29.8 million to repurchase shares and $1.7 million for property and equipment purchases.

In order to adequately assess the Company's collection efforts, taking into account the seasonality of the Company's business, the Company believes that it is most useful to compare current period days sales outstanding (DSOs) to the prior year period. Given the quarterly seasonality of bookings, the deferral from revenue of subscription billings may increase or decrease the DSOs on sequential quarterly comparisons.

SkillSoft's DSOs were in the targeted range for the fiscal 2010 third quarter. On a net basis, which considers only receivable balances for which revenue has been recorded; DSOs were 6 days in the fiscal 2010 third quarter as compared to 10 days in the year ago period and 4 days in the second quarter of fiscal 2010. On a gross basis, which considers all items billed as receivables, DSOs were 78 days in the fiscal 2010 third quarter as compared to 80 days in the year ago quarter and 71 days in the second quarter of fiscal 2010. The decrease in gross and net basis DSOs is due to improvements in customer collection efforts. The increase in gross and net basis DSOs in the third quarter as compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2010 is primarily attributed to the mix of billing arrangements with extended payment terms.

FISCAL 2010 AND FISCAL 2010 FOURTH QUARTER OUTLOOK

As a result of reported revenues for the fiscal 2010 third quarter, the Company now anticipates annual revenues to be in the range of $312.0 million to $314.0 million as compared to the annual revenue range of $307.0 million to $310.0 million set forth in its press release issued on August 20, 2009. Additionally, the Company now expects sales and marketing expenses for fiscal 2010 to be in the range of $97.0 million to $99.0 million and general and administrative expenses to be in the range of $33.5 million to $34.5 million as compared to the range of $105.0 million to $110.0 million and $31.5 million to $32.5 million, respectively, set forth in its press release issued on March 16, 2009. Research and development expenses are now expected to be in the range of $44.0 million to $45.0 million as compared to the range of $40.5 million to $42.5 million set forth in its press release on August 20, 2009. The Company anticipates that its provision for income taxes will be approximately 23% to 25% of pre-tax net income as set forth in its press release issued on August 20, 2009. The non-cash tax provision is expected to be approximately 14% to 16% of pre-tax net income as compared to 13% to 15% of pre-tax net income as set forth in its press release issued on August 20, 2009. The revised non-cash tax provision outlook is due to a shift in the expected geographic distribution of worldwide earnings in the forecast as well as the revised annual pre-tax income guidance. The Company now anticipates its adjusted net income for fiscal 2010 will be in the range of $67.0 million and $70.0 million, or $0.68 to $0.71 per diluted share, as compared to the range of $58.0 million to $61.0 million, or $0.59 to $0.62 per basic and diluted share, set forth in its press release issued August 20, 2009. Adjusted net income represents GAAP net income, excluding foreign exchange gains or losses.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 ending January 31, 2010, the Company currently anticipates revenue to be in the range of $76.2 to $78.2 million. The Company also currently anticipates adjusted net income for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter to be between $11.5 million and $14.5 million, or $0.12 to $0.15 per diluted share.

As a result of reported adjusted EBITDA for the nine months of fiscal 2010 ending October 31, 2009, the Company now anticipates the adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2010 to be in the range of $115.0 million to $119.0 million as compared to the range of $105.0 million to $110.0 million set forth in its press release issued on August 20, 2009. The adjusted EBITDA range for fiscal 2010 is calculated by taking expected net income ($67.0 - $70.0 million) and adding back depreciation and amortization ($4.5 - $5.5 million), amortization of intangible assets and capitalized software development costs ($8.0 - $8.5 million), stock-based compensation ($6.0 - $7.0 million), interest expense ($7.1 - $7.6 million), provision for income taxes ($21.0 - $22.0 million), and other expense net of interest income ($1.4 million).

The earnings outlook for fiscal 2010 and the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 does not take into account the potential positive or negative impact from changes in foreign exchange rates after October 31, 2009, the potential negative impact of the resolution of litigation matters, potential restructuring charges or the potential impact of any future acquisitions or divestitures, including potential non-recurring acquisition related expenses and the amortization of any purchased intangibles and deferred compensation charges resulting from a future acquisition transaction. The outlook also does not take into account the effect of a public offering or other financing arrangement, SkillSoft's share buyback program or debt restructuring that could impact interest income/expenses and/or outstanding shares and thereby the Company's EPS outlook.

Supplemental financial information will be available on SkillSoft's web site www.skillsoft.com at the time of the earnings call.

Conference Call

In conjunction with the release, management will conduct a conference call on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. EST to discuss the Company's fiscal 2010 third quarter financial and operating results and financial outlook. Chuck Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Tom McDonald, Chief Financial Officer, will host the call.

To participate in the conference call, interested parties can dial 800-322-9079 or 973-582-2717 for international callers and use the following passcode: 41988112. The live conference call will be available via the Internet by accessing the SkillSoft Web site at www.skillsoft.com. Please go to the Web site at least fifteen minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software.

A replay will be available from 12:01 a.m. EST on November 20, 2009, until 11:59 p.m. EST on November 26, 2009. The replay number is 800-642-1687 or 706-645-9291 for international callers, passcode: 41988112. A webcast replay will also be available on SkillSoft's Web site at www.skillsoft.com.

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL) is a leading SaaS provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses. SkillSoft enables business organizations to maximize business performance through a combination of comprehensive e- learning content, online information resources, flexible learning technologies and support services.

Content offerings include business, IT, desktop, compliance and consumer/SMB courseware collections, as well as complementary content assets such as Leadership Development Channel video products, KnowledgeCenter(TM) portals, virtual instructor-led training services and online mentoring services. SkillSoft's Books24x7(R) product offering includes access to more than 18,000 digitized IT and business books, as well as book summaries and executive reports. Technology offerings include the SkillPort(R) learning management system, Search-and-Learn(R), SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM) and virtual classroom.

SkillSoft courseware content described herein is for information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. SkillSoft has no obligation or commitment to develop or deliver any future release, upgrade, feature, enhancement or function described in this press release except as specifically set forth in a written agreement.

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, AnalystPerspectives, ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners, countries.

This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other risk factors disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in SkillSoft's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended July 31, 2009 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements provided by the Company in this press release represent the Company's views as of November 19, 2009. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.

    COMPANY CONTACT:
    Tom McDonald
    Chief Financial Officer
    (603) 324-3000, x4232

    INVESTOR CONTACT:
    Geoff Grande
    FD
    (617) 747-1721

                              SkillSoft PLC and Subsidiaries
                       Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
                (Unaudited, In thousands except share and per share data)

                                  -----------------        -----------------
                                  Three Months Ended       Nine Months Ended
                                      October 31,              October 31,
                                   2009         2008        2009        2008
                                   ----         ----        ----        ----

    Revenues                    $80,402      $83,064    $235,767    $248,039
    Cost of revenues (1)          6,845        9,374      21,842      28,013
    Cost of revenues -
     amortization of
      intangible assets              32        1,690          96       5,170
                                     --        -----          --       -----

       Gross profit              73,525       72,000     213,829     214,856

    Operating expenses:
       Research and
        development (1)          12,508       12,138      31,212      38,136
       Selling and
        marketing (1)            23,336       26,387      70,134      82,185
       General and
        administrative (1)        7,857        9,130      25,014      27,454
       Amortization of
        intangible assets         2,118        2,738       6,690       8,475
       Merger and integration
        related expenses              -            -           -         761
       Restructuring                  -            -          56           -
       Restatement - SEC
        investigation                 -            -           -          49
                                     --           --          --          --

    Total operating expenses     45,819       50,393     133,106     157,060


    Other (expense) income, net    (220)       1,013      (1,443)        616
    Interest income                  66          248         204       1,440
    Interest expense             (1,633)      (3,364)     (6,110)    (11,014)
                                 ------       ------      ------     -------

    Income before provision for
     income taxes from
     continuing operations       25,919       19,504      73,374      48,838

    Provision for income taxes -
     cash                         1,011        1,098       5,870       3,063
    Provision for income taxes -
     non-cash                     5,278        6,340      11,924      15,727

                                 ------       ------      ------      ------
    Income from continuing
     operations                  19,630       12,066      55,580      30,048
                                 ------       ------      ------      ------

    (Loss) income from
     discontinued operations net
     of an income tax benefit
     of $25 thousand and an
     income tax expense of $1.3
     million for the three and nine
     months ended October 31, 2008    -          (37)          -       1,937
                                     --          ---          --       -----

    Net income                  $19,630      $12,029     $55,580     $31,985
                                =======      =======     =======     =======


    Net income, per share, basic -
     continuing operations        $0.21        $0.12       $0.58       $0.29
    Net income, per share, basic -
     discontinued operations         $-       $(0.00)         $-       $0.02
                                     --       ------          --       -----
                                  $0.21        $0.12       $0.58       $0.31
                                  =====        =====       =====       =====

    Basic weighted average
     common shares
      outstanding            95,374,749  104,182,736  96,489,795 104,779,876
                             ==========  ===========  ========== ===========

    Net income, per share,
     diluted - continuing
      operations                  $0.20        $0.11       $0.56       $0.28
    Net income, per share,
     diluted - discontinued
     operations                      $-       $(0.00)         $-       $0.02
                                     --       ------          --       -----
                                  $0.20        $0.11       $0.56       $0.29
                                  =====        =====       =====       =====

    Diluted weighted average
     common shares
      outstanding            98,501,863  107,500,272  98,601,709 108,656,388
                             ==========  ===========  ========== ===========

       (1) The following summarizes the departmental allocation of the
           stock-based compensation

       Cost of revenues             $17          $52         $66        $163
       Research and development     226          227         742         695
       Selling and marketing        486          412       1,725       1,434
       General and administrative   701          731       2,108       2,212
                                    ---          ---       -----       -----
                                 $1,430       $1,422      $4,641      $4,504
                                 ======       ======      ======      ======


                                     SkillSoft PLC
                         Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
                               (Unaudited, In thousands)

                                            October 31, 2009 January 31, 2009
                                            ---------------- ----------------
    ASSETS

    CURRENT ASSETS:
      Cash, cash equivalents and short-term
       investments                                   $63,453          $38,952
      Restricted cash                                  2,792            3,790
      Accounts receivable, net                        69,816          146,362
      Deferred tax assets                             30,295           26,444
      Prepaid expenses and other
       current assets                                 14,781           18,286
                                                      ------           ------

    Total current assets                             181,137          233,834

      Property and equipment, net                      5,960            7,661
      Goodwill                                       238,550          238,550
      Intangible assets, net                           6,687           13,472
      Deferred tax assets                             56,125           78,223
      Other assets                                     9,585            3,360
                                                       -----            -----

    Total assets                                    $498,044         $575,100
                                                    ========         ========


    LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

    CURRENT LIABILITIES:

      Current maturities of long term debt              $865           $1,253
      Accounts payable                                 4,175            5,648
      Accrued expenses                                28,079           37,273
      Deferred revenue                               140,424          201,518
                                                     -------          -------

    Total current liabilities                        173,543          245,692

      Long term debt                                  83,716          122,131
      Other long term liabilities                      2,663            3,221
                                                       -----            -----
    Total long-term liabilities                       86,379          125,352

    Total stockholders' equity                       238,122          204,056
                                                     -------          -------

    Total liabilities and
     stockholders' equity                           $498,044         $575,100
                                                    ========         ========



                            SkillSoft PLC
           Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
                      (Unaudited, In thousands)


                                                  -----------------
                                                  Nine Months Ended
                                                      October 31,
                                                    2009        2008
                                                    ----        ----

    Cash flows from operating activities:

      Net income                                  $55,580     $31,985
         Adjustments to reconcile net income
          to net cash provided by operating
           activities:
         Stock-based compensation                   4,641       4,504
         Depreciation and amortization              3,419       3,921
         Amortization of intangible assets          6,786      13,645
         Recovery of bad debts                       (130)       (187)
         Provision for income taxes - non-cash     11,924      15,727
         Gain on sale of discontinued operations        -      (3,386)
         Non-cash interest expense                    854         898
         Tax expense (benefit) related to
          exercise of non-qualified stock options     169      (1,247)
      Changes in current assets and
       liabilities, net of acquisitions
           Accounts receivable                     80,962      92,756
           Prepaid expenses, other current
            assets and other assets                 3,951       7,907
           Accounts payable                        (1,502)       (858)
           Accrued expenses (including
            long-term)                            (10,809)    (21,663)
           Deferred revenue                       (68,029)    (68,608)
                                                  -------     -------

      Net cash provided by operating activities    87,816      75,394

    Cash flows from investing activities:

      Purchases of property and equipment          (1,703)     (4,066)
      Cash paid for business acquisitions               -        (250)
      Purchases of investments                     (7,762)    (18,545)
      Maturity of investments                       5,212      23,337
      Decrease in restricted cash                     998         218
      Cash received from sale of discontinued
       operations                                       -       6,903
                                                       --       -----

      Net cash (used in) provided by investing
       activities                                  (3,255)      7,597

    Cash flows from financing activities:

      Exercise of stock options                     1,343      16,412
      Proceeds from employee stock purchase plan    2,192       3,063
      Principal payments on long term debt        (38,802)    (55,303)
      Acquisition of treasury stock               (29,817)    (56,495)
      Tax (expense) benefit related to
       exercise of non-qualified stock options       (169)      1,247
                                                     ----       -----

      Net cash used in financing activities       (65,253)    (91,076)

      Effect of exchange rate changes on cash
       and cash equivalents                         2,641      (3,210)
                                                    -----      ------

      Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash
       equivalents                                 21,949     (11,295)
      Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of
       period                                      37,853      76,059
                                                   ------      ------

      Cash and cash equivalents, end of period    $59,802     $64,764
                                                  =======     =======

SOURCE SkillSoft PLC

Tom McDonald, Chief Financial Officer, SkillSoft PLC, +1-603-324-3000, x4232; Investor Contact: Geoff Grande, FD, +1-617-747-1721