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Navitas shares are on a tear

Photo: Dan Kitwood/ Getty Images

Navitas shares soared after the education provider posted a 44% rise in profit to $45.5 million.

Revenue was up 8% to $517.5 million for the half year to December and the company also announced it’s going on market to buy back up to 7.5% of its shares.

A short time ago, its shares were up more than 9% to $5.04.

The shares have made up some, but not all, of the lost ground since July 2014 when they dropped 30% to $4.84 after the company announced an end to its 16-year relationship with Sydney’s Macquarie University.

Navitas had, through its Sydney Institute of Business and Technology, given students a pathway to study at Macquarie University. But the university wanted to start its own university pathway college and called off the arrangement, without compensation, in June 2014.

Today CEO Rod Jones says the half year result was on a continued focus on academic excellence and enhancing greater return on investment.

Key achievements included increasing progression-to-university and pass rates for university programs, continued high student satisfaction rates and an ongoing focus on cost controls creating better margins.

Navitas said it had renewed a ten-year deal with the University of South Australia and expected 2016 earnings to be broadly in line with 2015.

The material earnings impact from the loss of Macquarie will start to hit this month.

“This is expected to be mitigated by earnings growth from other university programs contracts and the other divisions within the group,” the company said today.

The company announced a fully franked interim dividend of 9.6 cents a share.

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