G8 Education shares have slid over 14 per cent after Australia’s largest childcare and early education provider reported full-year profit fell 11 per cent to $71.8 million.
The company said childcare centres it had acquired in acquisitions in past years had performed below expectations but it was taking steps to turn them around.
G8 said revenue for the calendar year was up eight per cent, to $857 million, and declared an interim dividend of eight cents a share.
‘The group’s profit and cashflow results reflects the disciplined management of the G8 portfolio in challenging market conditions,’ G8 managing director Gary Carroll said on Monday.
G8 runs 17 childcare centres in Singapore and 519 across Australia, operating under a number of brands including Kinder Haven, Penguin Childcare and Creative Garden.
Its shares had hit a one-month low of $3.10 at 1117 AEDT, down 53 cents.
In a research note, Royal Bank of Canada analyst Garry Sherriff said, while he had a negative view of the industry short-term, the company should benefit regardless of which party wins the upcoming federal election.
There is bipartisan support for childcare funding, and Labor has proposed two programs that would benefit childcare operators, Mr Sherriff said.
In a separate statement, G8 said it has made progress on gender equality.
Forty-five per cent of its senior executives – four out of nine – are women, compared to 37.5 per cent a year ago. It hopes to reach parity this year.
Overall, 98 per cent of its nearly 10,000 employees are women.