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Annual Report, Financial Statements and Investment Portfolios

2021 Financial Statements Review of Performance


Financial performance
For the 2020/21 financial year UCL is reporting an operating surplus of £128.3m (8.0% of income), comparing favourably to the prior year’s operating surplus of £53.5m and to the £53.9m forecast for the year.

In a context of financial and operational uncertainty, this is highly encouraging and indicative of the underlying strength of UCL and the robust way in which the University has navigated its way through the pandemic.

The impact of covid 19 however has remained a significant factor in achieving these results and the University does not expect to reproduce this level of financial performance year on year, at least in the short term, once normal operating conditions return.

Impact of Covid 19
As a consequence of continuing national restrictions, many areas of activity remained depressed over the course of the year and associated costs were delayed into subsequent periods.

Ongoing disruption to international travel and campus operations prevented planned spend of £18m, and £20m of cost relating to campus reinstatement and equipment purchases will now be incurred in 2021/22.

The University’s research activity also proved highly resilient and, supported by a substantial contribution to medical and public health research, delivered an overhead that was £16m above target.

Surplus allocation
As with previous years, and in line with the principles underpinning UCL’s financial strategy, the surplus generated in 2020/21 will be used wholly to sustain investment in infrastructure and the digital estate, support the University’s operations, enhance the student experience and enable delivery of the University’s academic mission.

In relation to 2021/22 specifically, this includes providing for prior year costs that could not be incurred as planned, removing the capital programme’s managed pause and supporting the development of a new institutional strategy.

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UCL's Investment Portfolios as at 30th June 2021


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