Crawford schools owner AdvTech reports healthy enrolment numbers

Listed private schooling group AdvTech said Monday (23 March), reported a healthy rise in earnings for the year ended December 2019, citing a big increase in learner numbers.

“Over the past five years, the scale of our business has increased significantly,” said AdvTech CEO Roy Douglas. “During this period, school student numbers have risen by 128%, tertiary student numbers have doubled, and the group’s revenue has increased by 164%.”

AdvTech noted that student numbers are up 10% for 2020. The company’s portfolio includes Crawford Schools, Pinnacle College, and Trinity House. Tertiary institutions within its brand include Varsity Collge, Vega, and Oxbridge Academy.

“Revenue increased by 16% to R5.1 billion, underlining the continued demand for quality education, while operating profit improved by 8% to R869 million despite the impact of costs associated with investing in our Kenyan schools and various restructuring activities,” Douglas said.

Financial highlights:

  • Revenue up 16% to R5.1 billion (2018: R4.4 billion)
  • Operating profit up 8% to R869 million (2018: R808 million)
  • Profit for the year up 18% to R468 million (2018: R396 million)
  • Headline earnings per share up 20% to 86.0 cents
  • Normalised earnings per share up 8% to 85.2 cents

Overall, revenue increased by 11% to R2 226 million (2018: R2 009 million) and operating profit for South African schools increased by 3% to R358 million (2018: R349 million).

AdvTech said that its presence in the mid-fee sector has been increased substantially with the opening of two new campuses, Pinnacle College Waterfall and Pinnacle College Linden, while also repositioning two existing campuses, Pinnacle College Rynfield and Pinnacle College Kyalami (formerly Kathstan and Summit College), all of which met or exceeded their targeted enrolment numbers.

Trinityhouse Glenvista, a premium priced school, opened and has enjoyed a successful start with student numbers well in excess of forecasts. It is anticipated that the school will avoid the “J” curve and be profitable in its first year of operation.

Tertiary division

AdvTech said that its tertiary division performed exceptionally well again and enjoyed another strong 2020 enrolment season. Student growth increased 13% year-on-year.

Revenue increased by 25% to R2 145 million (2018: R1 719 million) and operating profit increased by 20% to R496 million (2018: R415 million).

The division continued the rollout of the Rosebank College Digitally Enabled campuses with the launch of a new campus in Port Elizabeth that exceeded their enrolment target. The division also launched a new Rosebank College Mega Campus in Cape Town.

Commenting on Covid – 19, Douglas said: “The safety and wellbeing of all our staff and pupils, and the continuation of quality teaching and learning is paramount and will remain our first priority. We have established an incident support team and have closed our schools and tertiary institutions until 14 April 2020 which is consistent with guidance from government.

“We are leveraging and making full use of online learning tools and systems previously implemented in both the schools and tertiary divisions such as IIELearn, our Learning Management System, which supports our teaching and learning strategies. We continue to explore internet access solutions for learners in the mid-fee and tertiary divisions who do not have at-home solutions. Whilst we are well positioned, the rapidly developing Covid-19 broader impact creates uncertainty.”

Read: Crawford schools owner AdvTech sees rise in earnings despite consumer woes and emigration

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Crawford schools owner AdvTech reports healthy enrolment numbers