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Curro Holdings sets aside R1.1 billion for expansion to tap into new opportunities

Curro Holdings is setting aside R1.1 billion for further expansion to tap into opportunities emanating from steady growth for high quality private education at a time educational technology is becoming popular. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Curro Holdings is setting aside R1.1 billion for further expansion to tap into opportunities emanating from steady growth for high quality private education at a time educational technology is becoming popular. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Feb 24, 2022

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CURRO Holdings is setting aside R1.1 billion for further expansion to tap into opportunities emanating from steady growth for high quality private education at a time educational technology is becoming popular.

The company, which runs private schools in South Africa, saw learner numbers for the full year to end December increase by 9.3 percent to 66 447.

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This translated to a 14.5 percent strengthening in revenues for the period to R3.5bn, yielding a headline earnings and headline earnings per share increase of 43.3 percent to R245 million and of 12.4 percent to 40.9 cents, respectively

The revenue surge for the period was underpinned by an 11.8 percent increase in tuition fees “due to the growth in learners coupled with the tuition fee mix and inflationary” increases. Discounts for the period were also R49 million lower while ancillary revenue increased by R21m.

With more learners now yearning to return to the classroom, chief executive Andries Greyling said he expected “ancillary revenue to gradually increase” as Covid-19 restrictions eased.

Its Curro Online now has more than 600 enrolled learners who are able to receive remote learning while the DigiEd Schools offer low-cost academic studies to learners through innovative digital tuition processes.

“Margin growth will increase,” said Greyling during a virtual presentation of the company’s financials. “What we are seeing is that learners want to be back in the classroom and also parents want to come back to school functions.”

This follows a tough two-year period of Covid-19 disruptions, with Greyling saying grade 12s of 2021 had “two years of doing online” learning, a situation that had pushed the company’s schools to re-develop its material and courses for virtual learning.

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Curro Holdings said its business model had proven resilient to pandemic disruptions, underpinned by its robust offering which had yielded buoyant learner growth as a result of increasing demand for affordable high-quality education and strong financial position.

As at 18 February 2022, Curro had 70 408 learners enrolled for the 2022 year excluding the acquisition of HeronBridge College which has an additional 1 169 learners.

Ebitda margins for its schools increased by 14.3 percent to R1 billion while Ebitda earnings after head office expenditure increased by 15 percent to R789 million, with the margin on Ebitda earnings being maintained at around 22 percent.

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Curro Holdings’ board has thus declared a final dividend of 8.2 cents per share compared to no dividend for the previous contrasting period.

It will use income from reserves for the year ended December 31, 2021 to fund the dividend payment to an effective amount of 6.56 cents per share, which is net of South African dividend tax of 20 percent.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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