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Intueri head quits as earnings slump

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/08/2016

Rob Facer has left as chief executive and director of Intueri Education Group effective immediately as the private education provider forecasts a 36 per cent drop in 2016 earnings.

The company has named chief financial officer Rod Marvin as acting chief executive while it seeks a permanent replacement for Mr Facer, who will be retained as an adviser "for a period of time to assist Intueri in respect of regulatory reviews," it said.

Intueri's shares last traded at 34 cents, having slumped 86 per cent from their May 2014 listing price of $2.35 and a peak of $3.35.

Since then the company has been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office and its Quantum Education Group and Dive School units have been reviewed by the Tertiary Education Commission funding agency.

It has shed 70 staff and in May directors agreed to cut their fees as the company sought to slash costs.

In March it was fined $54,000 and ordered to pay about $150,000 in reparations to the family of a foreign diving student who died during training.

In June the TEC said Intueri must refund $1.47 million after some dive school student enrolments between 2009-2014 could not be validated and some courses under-delivered against funding.

Last year it wrote down the value of Quantum, the dive school and its Design & Arts College by a total of about $60m, resulting in a $48.5m net loss.

Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $21.5m.

On Friday the company said 2016 ebitda was expected to be about $15m.

Intueri said first-half ebitda fell to about $10m from $10.5m, excluding a $400,000 refund to the TEC related to the dive school review.

It flagged a "softer" second half because of lower enrolments and course rationalisation.

Chairman Chris Kelly says the company continues to trade profitably and "we believe the initiatives we are undertaking this year will strengthen our organisation and create a solid platform for future growth".

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