Khaya Sithole, Board member independent non exec director; Divya Singh, Chief Academic officer; Dries Mellet, Alternate non exec director; Nico DeWaal, CEO and PSG Alpha non Exec director; Chris van der Merwe, CEO of Curro Holdings; Johan Holtzhauzen, MD PSG Capital; Samara Totaram, CFO; Andrew Horsfall, Group Exec Business Services; Theuns Laubscher, Group Exec Distance Learning.
DURBAN - JSE-LISTED investment group Stadio Holdings has increased its student numbers by 130 percent to 29 885 students in the year to end December, boosted by recent acquisitions. 

The number increased from 12976 reported at the end of 2017, with the group targeting to reach 56000 by the year 2026. The private higher education group, which was unbundled from Curro Holdings in 2017, acquired institutions such as AFDA, SBS, Milpark, Lisof and Prestige Academy and the acquisitions were instrumental in lifting the student numbers during the current period. Stadio already had the Embury Institute for Higher Education in its portfolio. 

Chief executive Dr Chris van der Merwe said yesterday that going forward the group’s strategy was to consolidate its existing brands towards a single private education institution. 

“The strategy involves both a registration process with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and all existing qualifications into the one brand, Stadio Multiversity,” Van der Merwe said. 

He added that the process would be undertaken in engagement with the DHET and the Council on Higher Education. “I am currently more than satisfied with the execution of the strategy. The group’s future growth strategy is aimed at organic growth, greenfield developments as well as acquisitions. Stadio’s objective is to reach 56000 students by 2026. 

“However, market indications are that the South African need is much greater. We believe that creating a multiversity to eventually accommodate 100000 students over time is a realistic and achievable objective,” he said. 

The growth in student numbers boosted the group's results during the period as revenue climbed to R633million, up from R122m compared to last year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation surged to R129m up from R0.5m, while core headline earnings increased to R70m, up from R3.2m compared to last year. Core headline earnings per share increased to 8.6cents a share, up from 0.6c.