Profits at G8 Education, which runs 478 child care centres for 37,045 children, have been shaved by a sharp rise in wage costs.
A short time ago, G8’s shares were down 15% to $3.13.
Profit for the half year dropped 12% to $24.87 million but revenue was up 18% to $357.95 million, driven by fee increases and the acquisition of more child care centres.
The company says wage costs increased 10% to $88.87 million in the six months to June because of regulation changes requiring a greater staff to child ratio.
The company also had $10 million of borrowing costs.
The annual dividend is 24 cents a share, fully franked.