G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) has more than doubled its net profit for the full year ending December 31 as it pushes ahead to become Australia’s largest childcare services provider.
The company’s underlying net profit after tax was up 207 per cent to $13.91 million from $4.52 million the previous year, while revenue grew 115 per cent to $142.90 million from $66.55 million.
Earnings before interest and tax were up 262 per cent from $6.87 million to $24.88 million, while net profit before tax was up 309 per cent from $5.55 million to $22.69 million.
Expenses increased by 98 per cent from $59.68 million to $118.02 million as it acquired 53 centres and sold seven underperforming centres.
There will be smiles all round for stakeholders in the company today, as it announced it would increase its annual dividend from four cents to six cents per share per annum.
Managing director Chris Scott is also smiling after his remuneration of $890,315, jumped by $555,880 on the previous year in which he earned $334,435. That rise was largely the result of $520,000 in share-based payments he did not receive in 2010.
“The result for the 2011 full year is excellent,” says Scott.
“It shows that, operationally, G8 Education is delivering for all stakeholders. Our team has integrated and continues to integrate a significant number of child care service businesses in a way that exceeds expectations.
“G8 Education continues to perform strongly and is well positioned for further growth through acquisitions.”
Today’s result was above guidance with a 9 per cent better than expected NPAT.
Dividends are paid quarterly and as a consequence the quarterly dividend will increase from one cent per share per quarter to 1.5 cents per share per quarter.
“This increase reflects the strong performance of our operations,” says Scott.
The company has 142 centres, seven of those in Singapore, while it has another 64 managed or franchised centres in Singapore.
It can care for a total of 10,486 children per day and has 3118 employees, 2870 of them in Australia.
The company is still awaiting judgement on the legal proceedings between with Cherie Hearts Group, Sam Yap and Gurchran Singh in relation to contractual arrangements between the parties.
The case is expected to wrap up early this year.
G8 shares today rose 4.8 per cent to 86 cents a unit.