Evolve Education lifts annual profit 1.5% on expanding portfolio

As of May 22, the company's portfolio numbered 120 early childhood education centres, up from 105 a year earlier.

Evolve Education Group reported a 1.5 percent gain in full-year profit as revenues continued to rise with the childcare operator's expanding portfolio of early childhood education centres.

Profit increased to $15.9 million, or 8.9 cents per share, in the 12 months ended March 31 from $15.6 million, or 8.8 cents, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Revenue rose 9.1 percent to $151.6 million. Total expenses were $128 million, compared with $117 million in the prior year.

The company said it would pay a final dividend of 2.5 cents per share, bringing the total to 5 cents for the year versus a total 4.76 cents in the prior year.

"As the group completed its second year of operation it is pleasing to report that some of the benefits of being a scale operator are visible in the financial result," said chief executive Alan Wham.

As of May 22, the company's portfolio numbered 120 early childhood education centres, up from 105 a year earlier. The centres produced revenue of $126.5 million in the 12 months to March 31 and underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $31 million.

Looking ahead, it said it has made good progress on developing its operating model. Evolve will shortly operate its portfolio of centres under five brands, a significant reduction from the 64 that it use today. "This will allow a significant improvement in the way that the group communicates with potential customers. A digital marketing platform will be launched early in FY18," said Wham.

Evolve offers both centre-based and home-based ECE, operating under various brands including Lollipops Educare, Leaps and Bounds, Porse and Au Pair Link.

The stock last traded at $1.05 and has gained 6.2 percent over the past 12 months.

(BusinessDesk)