Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

Fledgling private-school company Pembury Lifestyle Group has expanded aggressively since listing on the JSE in March.

Pembury focuses mainly on providing "affordable" private education through the schools it runs. It intends to own these schools in the near future.

Pembury runs 19 schools in Gauteng and North West, and the number of students increased 64% from 1,100 to 1,809 at the beginning of 2017.

It also made plans to open three new campuses in Centurion‚ Roodepoort and Springs. The 19 schools are located in places such as Northriding‚ Hartbeespoort and Ruimsig.

The group’s financial results show that revenue grew 148% to R31.8m for the 10 months to December 2016 compared with the first year of operations ended February 2016.

There was substantial growth in pupil numbers at campuses launched in 2015, two new campuses opened in 2016 and the group acquired PLG Hartbeespoort in early 2016,

Pembury listed on the JSE’s AltX on March 31 2017. During 2016, the company changed its financial year-end from February to December.

The results for the previous corresponding period, the year to February 29 2016, were contained in the company’s prospectus issued in March. This represented the company’s first year of operations.

"There was substantial growth in pupil numbers at campuses launched in 2015, two new campuses opened in 2016 and the group acquired PLG Hartbeespoort in early 2016," the group said.

These developments drove revenue growth. Pembury uses commercial properties that lend themselves to being converted into schools, such as office blocks and guesthouses.

The group aims to expand into the provision of retirement accommodation and services.

At this stage, it operates as a holding company to three subsidiaries: PLG Schools, the education business, which was operational for eight months of the year to February 29; PLG Properties, the company that will own properties in the future; and PLG Retirement Villages, which will run retirement homes.

Operating costs increased 112% during the reporting period to R42m, with the increase being primarily associated with the expansion of the group. The figure includes a portion of costs associated with the listing of the company, such as an International Financial Reporting Standards charge of R400,000.

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