ASIA NEWS: Edvantage Group (0382.HK), Announces FY2021 Annual Results

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HONG KONG, Nov 16, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Edvantage Group Holdings Limited (“Edvantage Group” or the “Group”, stock code: 0382.HK), the largest private vocational education group in the Greater Bay Area (“GBA”), announced its annual results for the year ended 31 August 2021 (the “Period under Review”). The Group managed eight educational institutions during the Period under review, including Guangzhou Huashang College (“Huashang College”), Guangzhou Huashang Vocational College (“Huashang Vocational College”), in Guangdong province of China, and Urban Vocational College of Sichuan (“Urban Technician College”), both in Sichuan province.

Results Highlights (For the year ended 31 August 2021)
— Revenue increased by 56.4% YoY to approx. 1,251.6 million(RMB, the same below);
— Gross profit rose by 59.2% YoY to approx. 630.9 million;
— Adjusted net profit attributable to owners of the Company1 increased by 48.7% YoY to approx. 459.7 million;
— Basic earnings per share increased by 37.5% YoY to 39. 42 cents;
— Proposed final dividend per share is HK8.4 cents; Annual dividend payout ratio is 30%;
— Number of student enrolments increased by 74.4% YoY to approx. 61,829.
Note: (1) For the year ended 31 August 2021, adjusted net profit attributable to owners of the Company is determined by adjusting profit for the year of approx. RMB469.7 million for the effect of net foreign exchange loss of approx. RMB25.8 million, share-based payments of approx. RMB20.2 million and profit for the year attributable to non-controlling interests of approx. RMB56.0 million.

During the Period under Review, the Group’s revenue grew by 56.4% year-on-year (“YoY”) to approx. 1,251.6 million; Gross profit increased by 59.2% YoY to approx. 630.9 million; and adjusted net profit attributable to owners of the Company rosed by 48.7% YoY to approx. 459.7 million; Basic earnings per share increased by 37.5% YoY to 39. 42 cents; The number of student enrolments increased by 74.4% to approx. 61,829. A final dividend in respect of the year ended 31 August 2021 of HK8.4 cents per share was proposed by the Board of the Group, together with the recognised interim dividend of HK5.5 cents per share, the annual dividend payout ratio is 30%. The Group’s best performance since its listing was due to steady increases in students and tuition fees standard derived originally from businesses (i.e. Huashang College and Huashang Vocational College were the new schools that generated earnings (i.e. Urban Vocational College, Urban Technician College.

Business Update
Closely Following National Policies to Run Schools
The Group’s Businesses are Strongly encouraged by the New Vocational Education Policy During the Period under Review, the State introduced a number of policies to support and encourage the development of vocational education. The Guidelines on Promoting the High Quality Development of Modern Vocational Education were released by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, and the General Office of the State Council in October . These guidelines clearly support and encourage listed companies and industry leaders, and encourage them to develop vocational educational programs. They also quantify the admissions scale for vocational education at the undergraduate and the vision of creating a skilled society. Vocational education was encouraged by national policies. All of the Group’s businesses fall under the state-sponsored vocational education. The Group’s schools are situated in China’s Greater Bay Area and Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle. These regions are important economic growth areas and have many advantages that support the development of vocational education. They include strong economic development momentum and continuous release of dividends from school-age populations, low gross enrollment rate in higher education sectors, and plenty of bargaining power. The Group’s long-term sustainable growth is possible because of its industrial and regional policies.

Adhering to High Quality and High Compliance Distinctive School-running
In terms of teaching faculty, the Group adopted the strategy of “strengthening schools with talents”. The Group has a leader team and a team of highly-qualified teachers, including Albert SUN-CHI CHAN (an academician at Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn (a laureate of Nobel Prize in Chemistry). Among the teachers of the Group’s schools in Guangdong province and Sichuan province, nearly 30% have an associate professor title; nearly 55% have a master’s degree or above; and over 100 of them have a doctoral degree. Meanwhile, over 100 teachers and industry experts from well-known universities such as Sun Yat-sen University, Jinan University, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Big Four accounting firms and SenseTime have been introduced flexibly. The Group continues to build and rebuild laboratories every year, ensuring that they are up to date with the latest technology. It also creates a high-standard, application-oriented training program to help teachers and foster high-end, application-oriented talent.

Catering to the Market Needs
Synergistic Development of Trans-discipline and Multi-discipline
The Group enriched its disciplines based on the social and market needs and gradually formed a superior discipline cluster with synergistic development that centres on “new business” and covers “new engineering”, “AI”, “big data”, “digital creativity”, “big health”, “education” and other disciplines. Vocational education in “big health”, which is in high demand for talent, developed quickly. This was due to the school-running model of “combination medicine and business” as well as the complementary advantages of schools and businesses for industry-education integration. Students majoring in big-health have seen a rapid increase in their numbers. In terms of academic vocational education, the Group’s schools in Guangdong province and Sichuan province have more than 4,400 students engaged in vocational education associated with “big health”, of which the enrolments of colleges of health and medicine of schools in Guangdong province have seen rapid growth with the number of students increased to more than 1,000 from over 100 in September 2019. Non-academic vocational education was provided by schools in Guangdong and Sichuan provinces. They offer vocational skills level certificates in big health, and hold competitions to produce high-level talent in this field.

Giants Alliance
In-depth Expansion of Industry-education Integration
The Group’s schools have always led the implementation of the philosophy of “school-enterprise cooperation, coordinative education”, having built long-term, stable partnerships with over 700 renowned leading companies successively, including Huawei, Baidu, Kingdee, Sensetime, and Chengdu Metro. It has a steady path to cultivating skilled talent based on ordered classes and industry college co-construction. This allows for the establishment of a comprehensive system that includes talent cultivation, scientific and innovative research, internships and employment, as well as social services. This creates win-win outcomes for students, schools and enterprises.

Remarkable Breakthroughs of Domestic and Overseas Schools Operation
During the Period under Review, the Group further expanded its teaching footprint in the Greater Bay Area. In September 2021,, it inaugurated GBABS Hong Kong. On that occasion, it signed a memorandum d’accord with Guangdong HK-Macao Greater Bay Area Entrepreneurs Union (Cyberport) and a strategic cooperation agreement. Since its inception, GBABS has hosted summits on Strategic New Thinking within the Greater Bay Area. It will work with other academic institutions, public and private organizations in Greater Bay Area to offer Executive Certificate/Diploma and Master of Business Administration, Executive MBA, and Doctor of Business Administration programs. This “superbridge” will help to foster outstanding leaders and talent for the Greater Bay Area.

In addition, the Group’s Sihui and Xinhui campuses in Guangdong province expanded smoothly. The two campuses will be used gradually, so there is plenty of room to expand the Group’s school-running capacities in the GBA.

International Education is not affected by the Covid-19
High Synergism between Domestic and Overseas Schools
The Group is China’s first private vocational education group to self-establish schools overseas, where it uses asset-light operation model. The three schools, GBCA and EIA, which offer both academic and vocational education, are qualified to accept students from all over the world. EIA is able to offer master’s and undergraduate degree programs. The Group’s overseas schools are highly integrated with Chinese schools. Online courses were offered by the Group that covered both academic and vocational levels. It provided support for domestic students in areas such as language proficiency, comprehensive abilities, employability, and other aspects. The pandemic has not affected international education services. The Group believes that international high-quality teaching services will continue to strengthen its education brand and increase its bargaining power.

Education Brand Effect of Edvantage Group is Increasingly Prominent
In terms of further study, in the past two years, nearly 100 graduates of the Group have been enrolled at top 100 famous overseas schools listed on the QS World University Rankings for a master’s or doctoral degree. In terms of employment and entrepreneurship, great achievements have also been obtained in the past five years as nearly 500 graduates of the Group have been employed by Big Four accounting firms, 3,000 by world’s top 500 and China’s top 100 enterprises, and nearly 2,500 by unicorn companies of new economy and various well-known financial institutions. Schools have responded to the demands of higher education development by establishing a secondary college for innovation and entrepreneurial and the Huashang Mass entrepreneurship Incubation Base, and offering relevant training. Over the past five year, many graduates have started quality companies and won numerous awards in national and regional innovation and entrepreneurship competitions.

The Group’s schools have repeatedly made breakthroughs in terms of school-running achievements. It is noteworthy that in May 2021, Huashang college was approved to confer a master’s degree. This made it one of eight private colleges in Guangdong. Huashang Vocational College’s recent achievements in quality and scale have been remarkable. Its enrolment rate and further study rate are significantly higher than those of private colleges in Guangdong. Urban Vocational College ranked No.1 in Sichuan province in the 2020 China Private Higher Vocational College Comprehensive Strength Ranking, and was one of the higher vocational colleges planned to be upgraded to an undergraduate university during the “13th Five-Year” Plan period, which shows superior school-running condition. The smooth degree upgrading process and wide employment opportunities at Urban Technician College led to a significant increase in enrollment. Both parents and students have been very impressed with it.

Development Strategy and Target
Since it ran schools, the Group has been closely following the national policies, catering to market needs, and adhering to the principle of school operations with high compliance and high quality. Three of the most important strategies for development are brand strategy, talent strategy, and M&A. To achieve steady, steady, high-quality development, the Group will continue to develop its non-academic vocational education and academic vocational education businesses via organic growth and expansion. It will also invest in asset-light and asset heavy operations. In addition, the Group’s schools will cooperate with leading enterprises in various industries to establish high-quality, market-demand-oriented industrial schools, a vocational education league or a vocational education group, thereby creating sustainable value for its shareholders.

About Edvantage Group Holdings Limited
Edvantage Group Holdings Limited (“Edvantage Group” or the “Group”, stock code: 0382.HK) is the largest private higher education group in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the “Greater Bay Area”) and an early mover in education sector in pursuing international expansion, and it was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange on 16 July 2019. As of 31 August 2021, the Group had nearly 62,000 students in schools and owns a total of 8 private education institutions, namely Guangzhou Huashang College (application-oriented undergraduate education) and Guangzhou Huashang Vocational College (higher academic vocational education) in Guangdong province, China; Urban Vocational College of Sichuan (higher academic vocational education) and Urban Technician College of Sichuan (secondary academic vocational education) in Sichuan province, China; GBA Business School (GBABS) in Hong Kong, China; Global Business College of Australia (GBCA) and Edvantage Institute Australia (EIA) in Melbourne, Australia; and Edvantage Institute (Singapore) (“EIS”) in the downtown of Singapore.

Topic – Press release summary

Source: Edvantage Group Holdings Limited
Sectors: Education

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