International student market on the rise as IDP Education's profit surges 47pc

International student market on the rise as IDP Education's profit surges 47pc

IDP Education (ASX: IEL) has posted a 67 per cent increase in interim net profit to $50.93 million for FY22, driven by record revenue as the international student market gathers momentum globally.

The Melbourne-based group, the world’s largest international student placement company, reported total revenue of $397 million for the six months to the end of December, up 47 per cent from a year earlier.

The result was buoyed by a rebound in the international student market as countries ramp up efforts to bolster their respective higher education sectors.

IDP Education says its performance has also been bolstered by solid growth in the company’s International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

IELTS volumes surged 79 per cent to almost one million during the period, aided by big gains in India where the company has achieved market dominance following the acquisition last year of the British Council's Indian IELTS operations. IDP says growth was recorded across most countries where IDP administers the test.

IELTS is the world’s most popular English language test for study and migration, used by more than 10,000 organisations around the world to determine English language proficiency of students.

IDP Education has also experienced a 36 per cent increase in student placement revenue, highlighted by a 73 per cent increase in multi-destination revenue. Total student placement volumes were up 33 per cent for the year, with demand in the northern hemisphere driving a 63 per cent increase in multi-destination student placement volumes.

The company reports that Canada is becoming increasingly popular, boosted by an ‘attractive post-study work landscape’.

There has also been an increase in search interest in Australia as border rules begin to relax. However, the company notes that student placement volumes in Australia remain subdued. Australasian revenue was 10 per cent lower during the period, compared to a 78 per cent increase in the company’s Asian operations.

“Our growth has accelerated, with strong volume increases in IELTS and northern hemisphere study destinations, which is evidence of the momentum we have built over the past six months,” says IDP Education’s CEO Andrew Barkla.

“Crucially, our ongoing program of innovation reinforces IDP’s industry leadership position. Our unique combination of digital and physical solutions is underpinning our competitive advantage in a growing industry with supportive regulatory and policy settings.”

Barkla says the IELTS strategy is driving strong growth, along with product innovation including improvements planned for IELTS Online this year.

“Meanwhile, our strategic expansion and acquisition of British Council’s IELTS operation in the high-growth market of India ensures IDP is poised for long-term growth in the world’s largest English-language testing market,” says Barkla.

The company’s IELTS volumes in India were up 97 per cent year-on-year, and up 13 per cent compared to the first half of FY20, in the pre-COVID period. The company says the business in India remained resilient during COVID-19, supported by ‘long-term demographic, wealth and global mobility fundamentals’.

IDP Education is paying an interim dividend of 13.5c per share.

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