Strategic initiatives bear fruit for Minda Global

Naresh(pic) said that their asset light strategy will also see a decoupling of surplus assets to be sold or repurposed for use. This will generate cash for investment and reduce operational overheads.

PETALING JAYA: Minda Global’s share price has soared 57% over the last one week from the 7 sen level to 11 sen on heavy volume, as of July 29.

Financials wise, Minda Global certainly is showing improvement.

For its first quarter to March 31, 2019, Minda Global recorded a lower net loss of RM3.26mil from a loss of RM4.58mil in the same quarter of the previous period. Revenue increased to RM23.5mil from RM22.77mil.

The lower loss before tax for the current quarter was mainly due to savings in manpower cost arising from cost rationalisation initiatives and gain from disposal of properties but was offset by the net negative impact of RM3.43mil arising from the adoption of MFRS 16.

For its financial year (FY) ended Dec 31, 2018, group revenue jumped significantly to RM90.9mil from RM19.8mil previously. Net loss also narrowed to RM17.17mil from RM28.86mil previously.

The better revenue was mainly attributed to the addition of the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) with loss before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (LBITDA) improving from RM21.4mil in FY17 to RM7.9mil in FY18.

Currently, Minda Global Bhd owns and operates two universities, three colleges and one international school.

Minda Global operates CUCMS, Asia Metropolitan University (AMU), Asia Metropolitan College (AMC) and the Asia Metropolitan International School (AMETIS).Minda Global’s group chief executive officer Naresh Alagan said that AMU in 2019 will turn EBITDA positive and the group will continue to build on that momentum.

When asked how Minda Global’s results have further improved for the first quarter, Naresh said that it was a culmination of various strategic initiatives that has been carried out over the last three years.

“There was mainly the consolidation of operations at some institutes to unlock operational savings, improving our marketing activities, focusing on international markets and more collaborative partnerships, ” he said.

Minda Global’s substantial amount of properties worth some RM150mil that have also been much talked about. How can the group monetise it?

Naresh said that their asset light strategy will also see a decoupling of surplus assets to be sold or repurposed for use. This will generate cash for investment and reduce operational overheads.

On April 2, Minda Global completed the disposal of six units of four-storey properties and two units of four-storey corner terraced shops for RM14.7mil.

Naresh said there are ongoing efforts in selling off some of its properties to strengthen its balance sheet.

“We have managed to dispose of some assets this year and utilise the proceeds to invest in our businesses. Efforts are still ongoing to find the right deal of our existing properties” said Naresh.

Many might not be familiar with Minda Global, simply because this is its third name change. Investors may be more familiar with its former names, Asiamet Education Group Bhd and Masterskill Education Group Bhd.

Minda Global assumed the listing status of loss-making Asiamet in February last year after completing a one-for-one share exchange arrangement with the latter’s existing shareholders

On the issue of branding, Naresh said the group’s strong performance in student recruitment indicates branding is no longer an obstacle

“Minda Global managed to improve student enrollment by 83.8% in 2018, with new student intake in excess of 2, 000 new students, ” he said.

Naresh said better performance is expected in 2019 since they have a new campus in Cyberjaya with additional capacity for another 4, 000 students.

Currently an estimated 8% of CUCMS students are international; and this is expected to increase significantly in the coming years as its international student numbers are almost doubling every year.

“International students make up 12% of new registration in 2018. After just 3 years of launching the International Recruitment strategy, we already have students from more than 30 countries, ” said Naresh.

One of the things Minda Global is embarking on is its Oxbridge Language Academy, which is a platform for selling language programs initially in English.

Ultimately, Naresh said that Minda Global’s vision is to be a global organisation that builds quality learning institutions that inspires learners to be their best, pursue their dreams and contribute to a better world as responsible citizens

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