Asia-focused educational courses provider AEC Education says that its 2011 figures will be better than expected and it has acquired training provider Skye Training.
House broker WH Ireland has upgraded its 2011 profit forecast from £300,000 to £500,000. The share price rose 42% to 11.5p on the back of the news and this values AEC at £5.19m. The shares are trading on 14 times estimated 2011 earnings and this will fall to eight in 2012 on the basis of a profit forecast of £1m.
There was a strong end to the year in Singapore and the profit upgrade comes even though one-off charges, relating to expanding the Malvern House English teaching brand and the exit from non-core activities, will be slightly higher than expected at £530,000. The WH Ireland forecast strips out the £180,000 of non-core costs.
Net cash was £3.7m at the end of 2011.
AEC is paying an initial £100,000 for 75% of Skye, which provides apprenticeship training,
The other 25% will be acquire in four instalments in each of the next four years. The payments will be based on a percentage of post-tax profit generated. Skye made a small loss on revenues of £900,000. The order book is growing.
The 2011 figures will be published in May.
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