JOHANNESBURG, March 22 (Reuters) - South African private education group Advtech reported a 24 percent increase in full-year profit, buoyed by strong performance from its businesses and expects growth to continue, it said on Wednesday.
* Advtech said basic normalised earnings per share increased to 66.7 cents in the full-year to end December 2016 from 53.9 cents in 2015.
* The company, which runs 78 schools and 27 tertiary campuses, said group revenue increased by 24 percent to 3.4 billion rand ($267 million).
* “In our core markets we expect growth to continue despite the fact that competition has increased and difficult economic conditions remain,” the company said in a statement.
* Revenue from the school division was up 15 percent, while revenue from the tertiary division grew by 28 percent to 1.3 billion rand.
* The group declared a final gross dividend of 19 cents from 17 cents.
* Advtech has been growing at a lightning-fast rate as parents frustrated with under-resourced, over-crowded state run schools splash out on private education.
* In the year, it increased its presence in the Western Cape with the Glenwood House School acquisition and Elkanah House and grew its tertiary education by buying a majority stake in University of Africa in Zambia.
* “The group remains focused on delivering on its strategy. We intend to generate 30 percent of revenue from the rest of Africa by 2020,” said Chief Executive Roy Douglas. ($1 = 12.7200 rand) (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)