Chalking up a fine future
Curro has achieved a remarkable amount in the 20 years in which it has been dishing up quality education at sensible price points, and it reaches its birthday with the news that it is now serving more than 50,000 pupils. This is a tidy little number, but there’s plenty of headroom for growth given that the total number of victims “creeping like a snail unwillingly to school” is 13-million. In the past four years private education has risen from 2% to 6% of this total, and affordability is the only factor slowing further expansion.
While Curro’s full-fee schools offer class sizes of 25 for an average of R4,500 a month, it is addressing the affordability issue with its Academy range of schools in townships.
With the many struggles that continue to characterise the governmentschool sector, the Curro price is one that parents will make considerable efforts to pay no matter how tough the economic situation.
Curro is continuing to invest to expand its geographic reach, in line with its aim to have 200 schools on 80 campuses by 2020. In the immediate future the company is investing R400m in six new campuses in Vanderbijlpark and Edenvale; Academies in Parkdene, Protea Glen and Savanna City; and a Curro Castle at Burgundy Estate in Cape Town.
At the same time there are expansion projects under way at existing campuses that will account for about R700m, and Curro has continued to make acquisitions.
This has been a quality operation from the start, and though the share price has drifted from its loftiest valuations of late, it’ll be back.
When the problems are mounting up, the show can go dark at some speed