RIO DE JANEIRO, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Estacio Participacoes S.A. – "Estacio" or "the Company" (BM&FBovespa: ESTC3; Bloomberg: ESTC3.BZ; Reuters: ESTC3.SA; OTC: ECPCY), one of the largest private institutions of higher learning in Brazil in terms of the number of students matriculated, is reporting its results for the fourth quarter of 2012 and for the year 2012 (4Q12 and 2012) in comparison with the same period of the previous year (4Q11 and 2011).
Estacio ended 2012 with a base total of 271,500 undergrad and graduate students, 13.1% above what was recorded in 2011, of whom 222,600 were matriculated for on campus programs of study, and 48,900 for distance learning courses. Disregarding acquisitions made in 2012, the student base organically grew by 9.5% compared to the same period of the previous year. At the end of 2012, the base of on campus undergrad students at Estacio totaled 209,900 students, 10.5% more than the same period of the previous year. For distance learning (DL) the undergrad student base grew by 22.9% over the same period of the previous year to a total of 46,100 students. It should be underscored that post-graduate DL students resumed growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, with an increase of 47.4% compared to the same period of the previous year.
Net operating earnings came to R$1,383,300 in 2012, an increase of 20.5% in relation to 2011, due to the growth of 13.1% in the student base and the positive development of the average ticket for the period.
In 2012, EBITDA added up to R$209.9, 70.7% more than 2011, with an EBITDA margin of 15.2%, for a margin gain of 4.5 percentage points compared to the year before, chiefly as a result of better management of costs and expenses and a 20.5% growth in net revenues.
The provision for doubtful creditors accounted for 5.8% of net revenues, reflecting a scenario of lower payment delinquency in the first half of 2012 as compared to 2011.
Net profit for Estacio came to R$109.7 million in 2012, an increase of 56.3% over the 2011 fiscal year, due to a 20.5% increase in revenues and efficiency gains in cost and expense entries, leading to growth of 70.7% in EBITDA, and more than offsetting the financial result owing to debts contracted since 2011.
Operating cash flow was positive in the amount of R$65.0 million in 2012, in contrast with the negative result for 2011 of R$99.9 million, an increase of R$164.9 million. This enabled Estacio investments to reach a total of R$172.0 million in 2012, accounting for 12.4% of net revenues, while in the year before, investments accounted for 15.6%. Of this amount, R$60.1 million were allocated towards the purchase of new units, while R$111.9 million were assigned to the expansion of new units, refurbishment and improvement of existing units, IT projects and the consolidation of the new Model of Instruction.
By the end of 2012, cash and equivalents came to R$140.5 million. Bank indebtedness stood at R$279.7 million corresponding to the Company's first issue of debentures, financing lines with the IFC and capitalization of equipment leasing expenses; as well as payment commitments for acquisitions made during the year, on the order of R$24.2 million; and an outstanding balance of tax installments; accounting for Estacio's gross indebtedness, which totaled R$312.5 million at year's end. Estacio's net debt closed 2012 at R$172.0 million.
Estacio ended 2012 with 11,440 employees, of whom 7,170 were professors, and 4,270 worked in administrative and instructional support areas. During the year, Estacio paid the equivalent of R$718.5 million in salaries and benefits, and also invested heavily in the training of its professors and administrative staff.
In regulatory matters relevant to the consolidation of Estacio's Model of Instruction, it should be underscored that in 100% of the evaluations conducted by the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) in 2012 for on-site visits related to ENADE 2010 at its facilities, it received grades of 3, 4 and 5 on a scale of 1 to 5. It also maintained a good evaluation in Masters and Doctoral degree programs, receiving a grade of 5 in the Master's Program of Legal Study, and in the Doctoral Program in Education, the grade of 4 indicates probable continuation of excellence of this degree program in the next evaluation. It also received a grade of 4 in the Master's and Doctoral programs in Dentistry, and in the Masters in Administration.
As Rogerio Melzi, President of Estacio, notes: "We know that great results always bring great responsibility." He emphasizes the fact that as the student base has been growing so significantly, Estacio must focus more and more on the quality of services it provides for students, investing in infrastructure, personnel and service. And he stresses: "At the same time, we must work very hard to improve even more our standards of instruction, so that the MEC and society in general recognize the value of the services provided for our students and benefits accruing from the positive impacts on the communities where we operate."
Flavia Oliveira – Investor Relations Manager
Phone: 55 (21) 3311-9789
Phone: 55 21 3311-9880
SOURCE Estacio Participacoes S.A.