Mayfield signals improving operational performance in trading update
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Mayfield Childcare has released a trading update confirming an improvement in trading conditions thus far in the second half of 2023.
The update comes in the wake of a disappointing set of half year results released in late August 2023 which highlighted lackluster first half occupancy and a squeeze on cash flows from higher costs which prompted a number of optimisation initiatives designed to improve overall results.
As at the week ending 3 November occupancy, excluding six centres held for resale, was 78.6 per cent, up from 70.6 per cent recorded in the first half of the year.
This compares to G8 Education’s occupancy of 75.4 per cent as at the week ending 22 October 2023, which included its soon to be divested thirty two underperforming centres, Embark Education Group’s 86.2 per cent as at 8 October 2023 and recently listed Nido Education’s 82.0 per cent as at 8 October 2023.
The Group’s focus on driving enrolment efficiencies is being supported by a new family facing website and the group wide implementation of a customer relationship management platform to drive enquiry conversion rates, reporting capabilities and insights.
Improvements in cash flows in the second half of 2023 have allowed for a $3.1 million reduction in debt drawdown with available bank loan facilities net of cash at hand now standing at $8.5 million.
These payments will help offset a meaningful move higher in borrowings reported in the first half results triggered by acquisition and dividend related payments and bring overall headroom back up towards a more historically consistent level.
Earnings in the period were supported by the passing of a fee increase, details were not disclosed, and a range of workforce optimisation initiatives that contributed to the better earnings and cash flow results.
Looking ahead, Mayfield remains committed to its refresh program that will see sixteen centres undergo a rebrand, along with the implementation of new systems and processes continuing.
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