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Study does it: Fresh from overhaul, Navitas looks to Asia to power profit growth

6 Feb 2013 THE AGE



INTERNATIONAL education services provider Navitas is preparing to reap the benefits as Asian students once again flock to study in Australia.

Despite reporting a flat net profit of $35.1 million for the half year to December 31, Navitas says regional student enrolments are climbing and earnings should improve.

"What we've seen over the last three to four months is a very, very significant turnaround in terms of demand out of China," said chief executive Rod Jones, who also cited Vietnam and India as key markets.

"Streamlined visas, the potential to work in Australia once they've finished studying, these things are positives from a student perspective."

The company flagged improved earnings this financial year and next. Profits were emerging from its recent restructure, while its university programs and English businesses were recovering and would support earnings growth.

More significant growth would be visible from the 2014 financial year, as student volumes continued to grow and margins improved. Mr Jones said full-time enrolments were up 2 per cent in the first half due to returning stability in Australia and Britain after regulatory changes. New student recruitment in Australia rose 7 per cent.

He denied the restructure of the professional and student recruitment divisions was a prelude to a sale, saying Navitas had dealt with issues surrounding the $2.5 million loss in its professional division.

Navitas offers programs from 30 colleges in Australia, Britain, the US, Canada, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Africa. It declared a fully franked interim dividend of 9.3¢ a share, down from 9.4¢. Shares closed 5¢ lower at $4.90. AAP