South Africa’s largest public-listed independent school group Curro Holdings said its revenue rose 18 percent to R2.944 billion in the year to December.

Curro said it planned to invest approximately R1 billion in further growth and development projects in 2020.

During the year under review, learner numbers were up 12 percent to 57,597 and continue to grow during the current year.

Recurring headline earnings however decreased by 15 percent to R212 million, although earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation added 11 percent to R693 million.

“Future growth prospects are underpinned by robust cash flow and pleasing growth in learner numbers, which was achieved in arguably the most challenging times,” Curro chief executive officer Andries Greyling said.

“I am positive that by focusing on our efficiencies, increasing occupation of existing school capacity and lowering capital investment, we will improve our profitability.”

Greyling said although Curro had just undergone a process of consolidation, it was ready to expand its current offering in a strategic manner and would selectively take advantage of acquisitions and high potential greenfield opportunities, especially in the Curro Academy and DigiEd segments.

Curro operates across a spectrum of education models, including Curro, Curro Academy, Meridian, Select schools, Curro Castles, National Certificate Vocational education facilities.