Navitas is ending the year on a positive note, with record final semester enrolment numbers underscoring encouraging momentum across its core university programs division.
The education provider's eagerly anticipated enrolment figures showed a 13 per cent increase in equivalent full-time enrolments on the same time last year to 15,426, up 5 per cent on the previous third-semester record in 2010.
Significantly, the enrolments included growth of 13 per cent also in Australia, its biggest market, reinforcing the company's message over the past six months of improving demand for courses now the new student visa system is all but bedded down. The UK was up 23 per cent, while North America, where Navitas is just starting out, was 27 per cent better.
Navitas shares rose on the announcement to end 5Â¢ higher at $6.09.
The Australian numbers included a sharp 30 per cent increase in new student enrolments, mainly from key source markets of China, Vietnam, India and Nepal.
But Navitas chief executive Rod Jones cautioned the group did not expect that growth rate to continue into the first semester of 2014, saying the third- semester numbers had been factored into its annual profit guidance five weeks ago.
Third-semester enrolments in low-fee colleges in Kenya and Sri Lanka were off 13 per cent, but have only a small impact on earnings.
Navitas's announcement yesterday reflects its October guidance where it revealed a 15 per cent increase in revenue for the September quarter.
It used the guidance to rein in overly optimistic analysts expectations by cautioning that expansion support costs would limit underlying earnings growth for 2013-14 to about 10 per cent.