Annual report 2012

AEC Education plc
(“AEC” or “the Company” and together with its subsidiaries, “the Group”)

Half year results
for the six months to 30 June 2013

Key Points

  • Revenues on continuing activities of £5.74m (2012: £8.98m)
  • Operating loss of £0.53m (2012: loss of £0.65m)
  • Loss before tax of £0.56m (2012: loss of £0.67m) – including loss of £0.42m from Singapore operations
  • Loss after tax from continuing activities of £0.58m (2012: loss of £0.63m)
  • Loss from discontinued activities of £0.24m (2012: nil)
  • Loss after tax including discontinued activities of £0.82m (2012: 0.63m)
  • Loss per share of 1.64p (2012: 1.20p)
  • Progress in Europe, especially at London operations which returned to profitability, and in Malaysia were offset by the Singapore operations
  • Singapore College’s EduTrust certification issues are being addressed and an application for a reinstatement of certification will be made at the earliest appropriate time.  Management changes have been made

Liam Swords, Chairman, stated,

“The Group’s results for the six months to 30 June 2013, as expected, show a significant improvement in AEC’s European operations. Most importantly, our English language teaching operations in London returned to profitability but our new operation in Ireland also moved into profit at the end of the period and our Cyprus joint venture continued to trade profitably.  While this is encouraging, as previously reported, overall results for the half year have been materially adversely affected by deficiencies which emerged at our Singapore operation.  These are being addressed but, as we previously stated, results for the year will be affected as we work through the issues and the Group’s expected return to profitability will be delayed.

“Notwithstanding the issues at our operations in Singapore, we are encouraged by progress across our operations in London, Dublin, Cyprus and Malaysia.  We anticipate further progress across these units and will be working hard to address the challenges at our Singapore College.  In the meantime, we are pleased to have the continuing support of our shareholders as we evaluate potential financing options and look to further strengthen the business.” 

 

For further information contact:

AEC Education plc		
Liam Swords,        			        +44 (0) 7775 787427
		                                
		
WH Ireland Limited (NOMAD)	        	+44 (0)161 832 2174
Dan Bate				
		
Biddicks		                        +44 (0) 20 3178 6378
Katie Tzouliadis / Alex Shilov			

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Introduction

The Group’s results for the six months to 30 June 2013, as expected, show a significant improvement in AEC’s European operations.  Most importantly, our English language teaching operations in London returned to profitability but our new operation in Ireland also moved into profit at the end of the period and our Cyprus joint venture continued to trade profitably.  While this is encouraging, as previously reported, overall results for the half year have been materially adversely affected by deficiencies which emerged at our Singapore operation.  These are being addressed but, as we previously stated, results for the year will be affected as we work through the issues and the Group’s expected return to profitability will be delayed.

Financial Results 

Revenues on continuing activities for the six months reduced to £5.74m (2012: £8.98m).  The loss before tax was £0.56m compared to a loss of £0.67m in the prior period, with the major part of the Group’s loss for the period attributed to the performance of the Singapore operation, which recorded a loss before tax of £0.42m. The loss after tax from continuing activities was £0.58m (2012: £0.63m) and after taking account of the loss from discontinued activities of £0.24m (2012: nil) relating to the legacy losses arising from Malvern House Training Solutions, the loss for the period increased to £0.82m (2012: £0.63m).  The loss per share before discontinued activities was 1.10p and including discontinued activities, the loss per share was 1.64p per share (2012: 1.20 per share).  Cash balances as at 30 June 2013 stood at £1.42m (2012: £2.90m).

Operational Review

In Singapore, as we previously reported, the Council of Private Education (“CPE”), which is the Singapore Government Body that regulates the Private Education sector, issued a six month suspension of our College’s EduTrust certification. The suspension period started at the beginning of August and comes after issues around English language entry requirements of students enrolled to take the MBA programme were identified and other compliance weaknesses highlighted to the management. The suspension means that while the Singapore College will continue to operate to fulfil its obligations to current registered students and can continue to recruit local students to the College, it is unable to recruit foreign students, our typical applicants, during the suspension period.

We are working hard to ensure that all regulatory and compliance issues are addressed fully and satisfactorily. Importantly, we have implemented an immediate change of management at the College. We will apply for an assessment of the College’s eligibility for a reinstatement of the EduTrust certification at the earliest appropriate time but clearly in the intervening period there is a significant adverse financial impact and there already has been material impact in the first half of the financial year.  Elsewhere in Asia, our operations in Malaysia showed a year-on-year improvement.  Enrolments in the local market have been strong with increasing interest in our degree programmes. We also continued to increase enrolments from the Middle East and North Africa and the operations made a profitable contribution.

In Europe, our main activity, which is our English language teaching operations in the UK, returned to profitability after the restructuring we undertook last year to consolidate all our activities into our Kings Cross site.  In May, we reported that we had closed our operation in the funded business and that we were reviewing our overall position in the UK government funded sector.  This discontinued business contributed a loss of £0.24m to the Group in the period and we have decided for the time being to withdraw from the funded sector in the UK so that we can focus our resources on our core business.  Our English language teaching operation in Ireland, Malvern House Dublin, moved into profit in June and continues to grow strongly in high value markets which is helping to offset weaker demand in Europe. Despite the economic crisis in Cyprus, we are pleased that the Malvern  School in Limassol has continued to grow, with revenues up by 20% in the period and the Summer School also showed a small increase in revenue. Our new operation in Oman is still trading at a loss but we have diversified into new product areas as planned in the first half which are beginning to show promise.

Outlook

Notwithstanding the issues at our operations in Singapore, we are encouraged by progress across our operations in London, Dublin, Cyprus and Malaysia.  We anticipate further progress across these units and will be working hard to address the challenges at our Singapore College.  In the meantime, we are pleased to have the continued support of our shareholders as we evaluate potential financing options and look to further strengthen the business.

Liam Swords
Chairman


AEC Education PLC
Unaudited Consolidated Income Statement

Six months
to
30 June
2013

Six months
to
30 June
2012

Twelve months
to
31 December 2012

Note

Unaudited

Unaudited

Audited

£’000

£’000

£’000

Revenues

4

Sales of services and other revenue 

5,742

  8,979

15,093

  

Cost of sales 

   (6,267)

(9,627)

  (18,613)

  

Operating (loss) / profit 

 (525)

   (648)

(3,520)

  

Share of results of associated companies
and joint ventures
 

22

   5

   15

Finance costs 

(52)

(27)

(71)

  

(Loss) / profit before income tax 

(555)

   (670)

   (3,576)

  

Income tax (charge)/credit 

(25)

38

287

  

(Loss) / profit for the period / year from
continuing activities
 

   (580)

(632)

   (3,289)

(Loss) / profit for the period / year from
discontinued activities
 

  (241)

   (262)

  

(Loss) / profit for the period / year 

(821)

  (632)

   (3,551)

  

Non-controlling interests 

96

103

376

  

(Loss) / profit attributable to equity holders 

  (725)

(529)

(3,175)

  

  

(Loss) / earnings per share 

Pence

Pence

Pence

  

Basic

6

   (1.64)

  (1.20)

  (7.15)

  

Diluted

6

  (1.64)

   (1.20)

  (7.15)

 

AEC Education PLC
Unaudited Statement of Financial Position

 

As at
30 June
2013

As at
30 June
2012

As at
31 December 2012

 

Unaudited

Unaudited

Audited

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

TOTAL ASSETS

Fixed assets

Intangible assets

4,764

   8,111

4,804

Tangible assets

  1,176

  1,516

1,090

Investment in associated companies

58

90

   29

Investment in joint venture

59

111

   67

Deferred taxation

  239

233

 

  6,296

 9,828

6,223

Current assets

Inventory

22

54

   22

Debtors

  3,386

  3,424

3,664

Cash at bank and in hand

  1,421

 2,903

2,707

 

  4,829

 6,381

6,393

 

Total assets

   11,125

   16,209

  12,616

 

EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

Non-current liabilities

Finance lease

   –

  22

  28

Term loan

   68

364

  66

Deferred taxation

   25

  23

  24

 

   93

  409

   118

 

Current liabilities

Creditors:

Amounts falling due within one year

7,011

   8,743

   7,795

 

Total liabilities

7,104

   9,152

   7,913

 

Equity attributable to equity holders of the
Company

Share capital

  4,420

  4,420

4,420

Share premium

  708

708

708

Reserves

(1,018)

   1,985

(382)

 

  4,110

7,113

4,746

Non-controlling interests

   (89)

   (56)

(43)

 

  4,021

  7,057

4,703

 

Total equity and liabilities

   11,125

16,209

12,616

 

 

AEC Education PLC
Unaudited Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows

 

Six months to
30 June
2013

Six months
to
30 June
2012

Twelve months
to
31 December 2012

 

Unaudited

Unaudited

Audited

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

 

Cash Flows from operating activities

(Loss) / profit before income tax from continuing activities

(555)

  (670)

   (3,576)

(Loss) / profit before income tax from
discontinued activities

  (241)

  –

(262)

 

Adjustments for:

Depreciation and amortisation

   304

   322

  820

Plant and equipment written-off

2

220

Loss on disposal of plant and equipment

  24

Loss on disposal of a subsidiary

191

Impairment of goodwill

  59

  –

882

Interest expense

  52

   27

  71

Interest income

  –

   (22)

  (7)

Share of results of associated companies and joint ventures

  (22)

(5)

  (15)

 

(401)

(348)

(1,652)

 

Changes in working capital

Receivables

   234

  (76)

  (690)

Payables

(644)

388

  (47)

Inventories

  –

  12

Related parties

(1)

   (80)

 

(812)

(36)

(2,457)

 

Taxes recovered / (paid)

   (1)

  (22)

   40

 

Cash used in operating activities

(813)

(58)

   (2,417)

 

 

AEC Education PLC
Unaudited Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows  (continued)

 

Six months
to
30 June
2013

Six  months
to
30 June
2012

Twelve months
to
31 December 2012

 

Unaudited

Unaudited

Audited

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

 

Cash used in operating activities

   (813)

   (58)

(2,417)

 

Cash Flows from Investing Activities

Interest received

  –

22

7

Dividend income received from an associated  and joint venture companies

 –

  –

155

Purchase of property, plant and equipment

   (287)

   (341)

   (510)

Purchase of intangible fixed assets

   –

(5)

   (9)

Disposal of a subsidiary

   –

 –

  2,260

Acquisition of a subsidiary

   –

   (135)

   (133)

Net cash generation/(used) in investing activities

   (287)

   (459)

  1,770

 

Cash Flows from Financing Activities

Interest paid

(52)

(27)

(71)

Repayment of term loan

   (127)

  (131)

   (256)

Dividend paid to shareholders

   –

   (88)

Dividend paid to non-controlling interests

  –

(25)

   (24)

Finance leases

  (20)

   (28)

  (86)

 

(199)

(211)

(525)

 

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes on consolidation

   13

(179)

69

 

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents

   (1,286)

(907)

(1,103)

 

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period / year

   2,707

3,810

   3,810

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period / year

  1,421

   2,903

2,707

 

AEC Education PLC
Notes

1.   Publication of non-statutory accounts and basis of preparation
The financial information contained in this interim report does not constitute statutory accounts for the period ended 30 June 2013. The unaudited consolidated financial statements incorporate the unaudited financial statements of the Company and entities controlled by the Company (its subsidiaries) made up to 30 June 2013.  The comparative figures for the period ended 30 June 2012 are those as published in the Company’s half year announcement made on 24 September 2012.

This report has been approved by the Board of Directors and is unaudited. This report does not comprise statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985.

2.   General
The principal activities of the Company are that of investment holding and provision of educational consultancy services. There have been no significant changes in the principal activities of the subsidiary companies during the period.

3.   Accounting Policies
The unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2013 have been prepared on the basis of International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) and accounting policies consistent with those adopted for the year ended 31 December 2012, and to be adopted in respect of the year ending 31 December 2012.

4.   Sale of Services

 

Six months
to
30 June
2013

Six  months
to
30 June
2012

Twelve months
to
31 December
2012

 

Unaudited

Unaudited

Audited

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

Course fees and registration fees

  5,032

   7,068

   12,156

Examination fees

   8

   844

  108

Students accommodation

  514

  734

  1,662

Others

  188

333

  1,167

 

  5,742

 8,979

  15,093

5.   Dividend
No interim dividend for this financial year is proposed.

6.   (Loss)/ earnings per share
The basic (loss)/earnings per share is calculated by dividing the (loss)/profit attributable to ordinary shareholders by the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the relevant period. The weighted average number of shares in issue during the period was 44,198,781 (2012: 44,198, 781).

The diluted (loss)/earnings per share is calculated by dividing the (loss)/profit attributable to ordinary shareholders by the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the relevant period diluted for the effect of share options and warrants in existence at the relevant period. The weighted average number of shares in issue diluted for the effect of share options and warrants in existence during the period was 46,213,781 (2012: 47,951,430).