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Pembury Lifestyle Group, which is currently suspended on the JSE, probably deserves a C+ for issuing its unaudited interim report only 3½ months after the close of its June year. History will show that companies that are suspended on the JSE often become a little lax about issuing regular reports to shareholders. So it seems Pembury is keen to re-establish its JSE listing — even though the matter of the share’s prolonged suspension is not openly addressed in the interim report. The half-year numbers show the private schools division registering a pretax profit of R8.2m and turnover of R45m, with directors ebulliently reporting that "eight of the 11 campuses are operating at a positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation [ebitda] and are thus through the J curve". I put the ebitda margin at below 22%; satisfactory, rather than spectacular. Pembury had previously pencilled in a target margin of 37% by 2020. That might be achievable, but I have my doubts that t...

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