Laureate Education posted increases in fourth-quarter earnings and revenue Tuesday, capping off a year in which it became a public company for the second time.
Baltimore-based Laureate, which owns and operates for-profit universities around the world, said its income jumped to $200.5 million, or 48 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $38.5 million, or 27 cents per share, in the last three months of 2016.
The company attributed the increase to tax benefits from the U.S. tax reform law. Laureate also benefited from lower interest expenses after completing its initial public offering and debt refinancing last year.
Laureate reported that revenue increased 7 percent, to $1.3 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31.
Eilif Serck-Hanssen, Laureate’s CEO, called 2017 a transformational year as the company re-entered the public markets, allowing it to raise money and revamp its balance sheet.
“We have developed some very specific strategies to leverage scale and technology to further improve student experiences and drive stronger returns for our shareholders,” Serck-Hanssen said in the company’s announcement. “Through the year we continued to make good progress on all our key strategic initiatives, and we are well positioned to continue with that progress as we head into 2018.”
New enrollments for the year edged up 2 percent while total enrollments also were up 2 percent, Laureate said. The company said growth in new enrollments reflects strength at its universities in Brazil, where enrollments jumped 11 percent compared to 2016, and at universities in Central America and in the United State. Enrollments declined in Chile, hurt by regulatory challenges, offsetting enrollment gains in Peru, Spain and Portugal.
The company went public in 1993 and was taken private again in 2007. Now the largest global network of degree-granting universities, Laureate went public again in February 2017, raising $490 million in an initial public offering.
Laureate has more than 1 million students at more than 60 institutions in more than 20 countries at campuses and online.