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Expanding Evolve Education profit up

NZN 21/05/2017 Rebecca Howard

Evolve Education Group reported a 1.5 per cent 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 in the 12 months ended March 31 from $15.6m a year earlier, the company said on Monday. Revenue rose 9.1 per cent to $151.6m. Total expenses were $128m, compared with $117m in the prior year.

The company said it would pay a final dividend of 2.5 cents per share, bringing the total to 5c for the year, up from 4.76c 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 $126.5m in the 12 months to March 31 and underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $31m.

Looking ahead, it said it had 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 uses 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," Mr Wham said.

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 per cent over the past 12 months.

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