Curro reports rising pupil numbers despite Covid-19

19 August 2020 - 10:46 By karl gernetzky
Pupil numbers increased by 5% to 59,967 during the Curro school group’s half year to end-June, but the collection of fees has dropped during the Covid-19 pandemic. File photo
Pupil numbers increased by 5% to 59,967 during the Curro school group’s half year to end-June, but the collection of fees has dropped during the Covid-19 pandemic. File photo
Image: TSHEPO KEKANA/SUNDAY WORLD

Private school group Curro has reported a positive influx of new pupils despite Covid-19, though the pandemic has had an effect, particularly on its nursery schools.

The group said on Wednesday that the industry faced “structural changes”, and it would be converting nursery schools to primary schools and assisted learning facilities to better utilise its facilities.

Pupil numbers increased by 5% to 59,967 during the group’s half year to end-June, though the numbers declined in nursery schools, which are not a compulsory stage of schooling.

Headline earnings per share fell 23% to 38.7c, or headline earnings of R160m. In the period the year before, the group had reversed a deferred tax liability of R53m.

Headline earnings is a widely used profit measure in SA, stripping out certain one-off items to give a better indication of underlying performance.

The group said in June, when schools reopened, enrollments had exceeded the previous year, but collections were under pressure.

“Although the collection of school fees has seen some improvement from a low point reached in April 2020, it is not at the same levels as before Covid-19,” the group said.

“It remains difficult to estimate the bad debt expense for the full year,” Curro said.

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