Teaching and big profits do not generally walk hand-in-hand. However, in the case of ADvTECH, one of the largest diversified education, training and placement groups in South Africa, this is not true.
ADvTech listed on the JSE, and after spectacular results all of last year, the share price has gone up by 50%.
In addition to the increase in share price, the trading fundamentals have also improved. Revenue is up 24%, earnings per share up 24%, operating profit up 30% and the company has given shareholders a dividend of 32.5 cents per share.
The directors say "Excellent results for 2016, continuing the trend of strong performance from the business as it pursues its growth strategy."
"Both the schools and tertiary divisions performed well with revenue growth and operating profit up. The resourcing division’s profit declined due to the uncertain economy, though revenue has increased as a result of the recent acquisitions."
The directors in the annual report say: "Highlights of the year include a number of strategic acquisitions, expanding our footprint outside of South Africa, increasing our schools’ presence in the Western Cape, successfully introducing blended learning models and growing our position in the distance education sector." "The investment of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, was an important milestone for the group and supports our growth strategy with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa."
Looking ahead, the directors say "we continue to see numerous opportunities both at home and abroad. In our core markets, we expect organic and greenfield growth to continue despite the fact that competition has increased and difficult economic conditions remain. We are also excited by opportunities available in new market segments and through new product offerings."
"In addition, our investigation into new regions is providing us with even more opportunities and this, we believe, will enhance our business performance and diversify our portfolio."
Jeremy Woods trained for three years as a journalist on the Herts Advertiser, St Albans, in the U.K. Once qualified, he left England to work as a crime reporter on the Vancouver Sun in Canada. After three years, he worked for the Los Angeles Times as a trainee financial journalist, spending most of his time reading company accounts and finding publishable stories in them. He moved to South Africa and for the last five years in journalism worked for the Sunday Times, Business Times, as Investment Editor. He has also published a financial thriller called "Special Payments", which was a best-seller on publication, and optioned three times for a film.