Vasta Announces Second Quarter 2021 Results

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SÃO PAULO, Brazil, Aug. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vasta Platform Limited (NASDAQ: VSTA) – “Vasta” or the “Company,” announces today its financial and operating results for the second quarter of 2021 (2Q21) ended June 30, 2021. Financial results are expressed in Brazilian Reais and are presented in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

HIGHLIGHTS

In the second quarter, net revenue expanded 17% versus the same quarter of 2020, owing to the growth in 2021 annual contract value (ACV) and revenue from non-subscription products. Net revenue from subscription products increased 12% in the quarter.In the 2021 commercial cycle to date (4Q20-2Q21), subscription revenue ex-PAR increased 18%, while PAR, which revenue is concentrated in the two first quarters of the cycle (4Q and 1Q), was down 15% due to the higher re-use of textbooks. Within subscription revenue, we highlight the strength of complementary solutions, up 51% in the cycle. Despite all the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect to record a low-double-digit organic growth in the subscription revenue ex-PAR in the 2021 cycle (from 4Q20 to 3Q21).Adjusted EBITDA was negative in R$ 17 million in 2Q21, mostly driven by the unfavorable revenue seasonality of the second quarter, also affected by higher provision for doubtful accounts (PDA) and by the enhancement in our corporate structure following the IPO in July 2020.The higher PDA reflects our conservatism in provisioning standards, amidst a difficult period for some of our partner schools and the textbook distribution channel (R$ 8.6 million is attributable to Covid-19 effects in 2Q21). Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have opted to support our partners by extending payment terms instead of granting discounts.Vasta recorded adjusted net loss of R$ 25 million in the quarter. In the cycle, Vasta posted adjusted net profit of R$ 124 million, 29% up year-on-year.On July 29, Vasta appointed Estela Maris Vieira de Souza to the board of directors as an independent member and as chairwoman of the audit committee. She will fill the vacancy in the board of directors and audit committee due to the passing of Francisco Henrique Passos Fernandes. We welcome Ms. Vieira and we believe that her vast experience in business and accounting matters will be a great fit to our board of directors.On August 6, Vasta’s subsidiary Somos Sistemas de Ensino S.A. issued R$ 500 million in simple debentures, not convertible into shares, subject to compensatory interest of 100% of the DI Interbank Deposit rate (CDI), plus a spread of 2.30% per year. The debentures are aimed at reinforcing the company’s capital structure and elongating the debt maturity profile, which average maturity now stands at 29 months.Today, we announce the acquisition of EMME – Produções de Materiais em Multimidia (EMME), which provides educational marketing solutions for schools, through a license of its “software as a service” platform. Founded in 2005, EMME has provided services to over 1,500 schools. EMME expects to record net revenue of R$ 7.6 million in 2021.Vasta’s board of directors approved its first share repurchase program through which it may repurchase up to 1,000,000 Class A common shares in the open market, based on prevailing market prices, or in privately negotiated transactions, over a period beginning on August 17, 2021, continuing until the earlier of the completion of the repurchase or February 17, 2022, depending upon market conditions.

MESSAGE FROM MANAGEMENT

During the second quarter, we continued to withstand the adverse effects that the second wave of Covid-19 caused to our business, particularly the lower-than-expected number of students enrolled at our partner schools and the greater volume of reuse and purchase of second-hand textbooks. Even with these challenges, we expect to record a high-single-digit organic growth in the subscription revenue in the 2021 commercial cycle (from 4Q20 to 3Q21), lower than the reported 2021 ACV growth due to higher reuse of textbooks in PAR, student migration to public schools and student dropout at the early years level. Excluding PAR, we expect to record a low-double-digit organic growth in the subscription revenue, with the sound increase in complementary solutions (+51% to date) as the main highlight.

Despite the challenging 2021, we see reasons to believe that the worst may be behind us. The rapid advance of vaccination in the main capitals of the country could favor the return of kids to school in 2022. Indeed, we have noticed increased activity in our partner schools recently, which has favored the current sales cycle for the 2022 school year. The successful go-to-market strategy that led us to deliver 23% 2021 ACV growth and 8% expansion in our school partners base is still in place and continues to bear promising intake results, now underscored by top-notch results of our students in the most-competitive university admission tests in the country. Our Plurall platform remains as the absolute leader in terms of web traffic, and will be even stronger for the 2022 sales cycle, with the launch of several new features. Lastly, we expect to add Eleva Plataforma de Ensino to our platform by the end of the year once we have the approval of Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).

As we have already commented in previous quarters, we have continually expanded the range of digital solutions, either via complementary solutions offered through Plurall Store or by the recently launched Plurall My Teacher, our private classes platform. In the core education, we have launched the Fibonacci Learning System, in partnership with Colegio Fibonacci, a top-10 ranked school in Brazil’s National High School Test (ENEM). Within complementary solutions, we added essay review services through Redação Nota 1000, which may be embedded with the core product in premium brands or offered to our base of more than 4,500 partner schools. Still in this area, we proudly announce that we expanded our agreement with Macmillan for the development of a full bilingual educational platform, in complement to our existing offer of English products; this platform will be available from the 2023 sales cycle on.

Finally, our digital services platform begins to take shape with the launch of Somos Integra, a digital tool for connecting kindergarten schools and our partner schools, and the offering of marketing services provided by EMME, our newest acquisition. Founded in 2005, EMME has provided educational marketing solutions for more than 1,500 schools, and its business model is based on a monthly fee in which the clients contract a service package of custom advertising materials and marketing products. In addition to aggregating a digital solution and bringing in new clients, EMME will also improve the student acquisition and retaining process for the partner schools, supporting the Vasta’s portfolio growth. EMME expects to record net revenue of R$ 7.6 million in 2021.

These examples underscore our platform’s potential to continue expanding through a crescent number of solutions to our clients, ultimately increasing client loyalty and enhancing our long-term growth potential.

ESG HIGHLIGHTS

We take the opportunity of Ms. Vieira appointment to Vasta’s board of directors and audit committee to present a few highlights of our strong commitment with ESG standards:

With Ms. Vieira appointment, our board of directors is complete again, with three independent members (43% of total): Andres Cardo, Ann Williams, and Estela Vieira.Two of our board members are women (28% of total), enabling Vasta to earn the Women on Board (WOB) certification. 49% of leadership positions in Vasta that are occupied by woman.As per our by-laws, any related-party transactions must be exclusively approved by an independent committee, which is formed by our three independent board members.Vasta is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a globally recognized commitment with sustainable practices within the paper chain. We require that 100% of our supplies also possess this certification.We buy energy in the free market from renewable sources like small hydro power plants, biomass, wind and solar.100% of the waste generated in our distribution center is correctly…

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