After years of being asked for more money to pay for private school group Curro’s acquisitions, shareholders are getting their first dividend. Curro declared a maiden dividend of 12c per share in its results for the year to end-December, which some analysts said indicated that the group could now fund future growth through its cash generation, rather than through through shares. Curro has been pursuing an aggressive growth strategy, and has set itself a target of owning 80 independent schools by 2020,will accommodate 80,000 pupils. At the end of its 2018 financial year the company had 68 schools, and 57,000 pupils. The company's results were quite credible given the tough domestic market, said independent analyst Anthony Clark. Curro looked well positioned to grow both cash flow and profitability, he said.

The group segments itself into two, its flagship Curro schools and Meridian schools, of which it owns 65%. Meridian’s pupil numbers declined by 4% to 9,313 during the period...

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