Curro lifts interim earnings on increasing learner numbers

JSE-listed independent education provider, Curro Holdings has published its results for the six months ended June, 2019, showing a 19% increase in revenue to R1.480 billion, while headline earnings jumped 44% to R206 million.

The group said that results were boosted by learner numbers rising by 13%, from 50,691 to 57,173.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 21% to R415 million, from the restated R342 million in the prior corresponding period.

The company restated its prior interim results to align them with new accounting standards.

Headline earnings per share also increased by 44% from 34.8 cents to 50 cents whilst recurring headline earnings per share increased by 7% from 34.8 cents to 37.1 cents, Curro said.

“Our results were achieved despite tough trading conditions. Curro remains very attractive for parents who want to provide their children with excellence in education,” said Curro CEO Andries Greyling.

Curro has reported a strong balance sheet. “The increase in cash generation improves the group’s ability to service debt,” said Greyling.

Net finance costs have increased by 49% from R73 million to R109 million as a result of long-term interest-bearing debt increasing from R2.310 million to R3.195 million.

Curro said it refinanced R850 million that was due for repayment in 2020 with a five-year bullet repayment loan now only due in 2024.

New campus

The education specialist said it is pushing ahead with expansion plans by investing R223 million in the establishment of four new campuses (five schools) at Curro New Road (a DigiEd campus and Curro Private College), Curro Delft (a DigiEd campus) and Curro Academies at The Blyde (Pretoria East) and in Mbombela.

In January this year, the group acquired Creston College in KwaZulu-Natal and Sagewood School in Gauteng.

Additionally, major expansion projects are currently being conducted at Curro Vanderbijlpark, Building Blocks in Midrand, Curro Hillcrest and Curro Academy Pretoria. “The estimated investment for expansion and replacement of assets in 2019 is R1 billion, but it is a necessary undertaking for us as a business and for our learners who will be the beneficiaries of our enhanced facilities,” said Greyling.

Read: Curro launches new tech and economics college – that offers an alternative to matric

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Curro lifts interim earnings on increasing learner numbers