AEC Education plc

Company summary

AEC Education plc, is an AIM listed company which provides English language training, professional education, higher education, workplace training and examination and certification services from locations in the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and elsewhere in the Far East.

15 January 2013 | Education

Company news

Problems with its English Language business in the UK continues to obscure AEC’s Asian success.

​AEC, the educational programmes provider, has issued an update on trading for the financial year to 31 December 2012.

The Company expects to show revenues of approximately £17.0m (2011: £19.1m) and a loss before tax significantly greater than current market expectations (2011: profit before tax of £0.36m). The Company took the opportunity to remind the market that its balance sheet remains strong, with significant net cash. 

The Company said the results reflect contrasting trading performances across its two key trading regions of Asia and the UK. While AEC’s Asian operations have performed well, with revenues up approximately 16% year-on-year, results from the UK have necessitated further restructuring and cost reductions. The Company attributed this to continuing weak demand by overseas students for English language teaching programmes in the UK after the government changes to overseas student visas. The Company has taken steps to further restructure its UK operations which will give rise to a one-off charge of approximately £1.4m, which will be recognised in the current financial year.   

In spite of the ongoing challenges in the UK, the Board says it remains positive about the Group's medium and long term prospects, underpinned by AEC's strong financial position.

Comment:

The Company's strong performance in Singapore and Malaysia where its higher education businesses grew by 16% has once again been obscured by the performance of its English language division. Hopefully, the latest restructuring will see the division return to profitability.

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