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Evolve lifts first-half profit past $12m

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/11/2016 Sophie Boot

Evolve Education Group, the childcare centre operator, lifted first-half profit by 11 per cent as it looks to increase its centre numbers over the next two years.

Net profit rose to $12.5 million in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $11.3m a year earlier, as revenue increased 9 per cent to $76.4m, the Auckland-based company said in a statement.

Evolve contracted five new early childhood education (ECE) centres in the first half has contracted a further eight since that date, the company said.

While the first-half results include an element of these acquisitions, the majority of the increase in earnings will be reported over the coming 12 months, it said.

The company is on track to add between 15 and 20 centres in 2017. Its has 119 centres, up from 84 at the time of its 2014 initial public offering.

It has $14.5m of acquisition funding it hasn't used yet, in place for growth in the 2018 financial year, and two developments contracted and expected to start trading in that year, while further new centre opportunities are "being evaluated."

Evolve's revenue from ECE centres rose 12 per cent to $63.1m in the first half, while earnings from home-based ECE dropped 3 per cent to $12.7m.

The company will pay a final dividend of 2.5 cents a share, up from 2.38 cents per share for the previous equivalent first-half fully imputed.The record date is Dec. 6 and the payment date Dec. 21.

Evolve shares rose 5 per cent to $1.05 and have dropped 2 per cent this year. They sold in the IPO at $1 apiece.

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