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Learning, recruitment help AdvTech grow

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The reality of a quality education as a basis for a well planned career now seems more important than ever if the increasing admissions and the growing demand for AdvTech's educational product offerings and career placements for the last six months are anything to go by.

Group revenue increased by 19% compared to 15% for the previous comparative period. All segments of the group contributed to this growth, with a  particular
highlight being the outstanding performance of the group`s resourcing business, where AdvTech's specialised placement networks provide high quality staff to service market demand.
In the schools division, over 95% of the Group`s almost 14 000 matriculants have continued their studies at South African universities, or at international institutions such as Harvard and Oxford. More than two thirds of graduates leaving our Higher Education institutions are employed within one year of graduation, with a further 20% of graduates in this sector continuing with  post-graduate study.
In the resourcing division, post placement research has found that some 90% of AdvTech placement candidates are integrated effectively into their new workplaces.
During the period under review, the group concluded agreements for the acquisitions of the Trinityhouse schools as well as for three smaller businesses in the recruitment field: IT Edge, Tech-Pro and The Working Earth. The aggregate cost of these acquisitions amounts to approximately R140-million and is being funded out of the group's own resources.
Profit for the period increased by 32% to R72.5-million (2007: R55-million), resulting in an increase of 30% in basic headline earnings per share to 18.7
cents (2007: 14.4 cents) and an increase of 34% in diluted headline earnings per share to 18.3 cents (2007: 13.7 cents).
The Education division is a leader in the independent education sector and operates under the academic direction of the Independent Institute of Education (IIE) which encompasses 19 registered Higher Education campuses as well as AdvTech's various school sites. The IIE superintendence includes the brands Abbotts College, CrawfordSchoolsTrade Mark, College Campus, Junior College, Rosebank College, Trinityhouse, Varsity College, Vega – The Brand Communications School, The National College of Photography and the adult education and skills unit, Imfundo, which incorporates Corporate College International.
The Education division increased revenue by 14% to R465.9-million (2007: R407.2-million) and operating profit by 16% to R87-million (2007: R75.1-million).
The operating margin improved from 18.4% to 18.7% reflecting the benefits of greater capacity and scale.
The Resourcing division`s activities include recruitment, placement, temporary staffing, response handling and HR contracting. The portfolio of brands includes Brent Personnel, Cassel & Company, Communicate Personnel, Insource.ICT, Inkokheli Appointments, Network Recruitment, Pro-Rec Recruitment, Vertex-Kapele, IT Edge, Tech-Pro and The Working Earth.
Revenue for the six months increased by 44% to R97.9-million (2007: R67.9-million) and operating profit increased by 47% to R20.5 million (2007: R14-million).
Demand for skills remains high and this well managed division once again continued to gain market share.
Given that the Group`s management infrastructure and resources for the next phase of growth are now largely in place, the reduced pace of growth in central administration costs was not unexpected. These costs increased by 11% to R18.4-million (2007: R16.6-million).