South Africa’s biggest private education firm Curro Holdings reported a 51 percent surge in half-year profit on Tuesday, helped by acquisitions and growing demand for private education.

Headline earnings, the main profit gauge used in South Africa that strips out some one-off items, increased to 22.0 cents per share in the six months to the end of June from 14.5 cents per share a year earlier.

Founded in 1998, Curro has been growing at a lightning-fast rate as parents frustrated with under-resourced, over-crowded state run schools splash out on private education.

Shares in the company, which have soared 15-fold since going public in 2011, slipped 0.9 percent to 42.29 rand at 0846 GMT.

Curro said in a statement the results were boosted by acquisitions that included Namibia-based Windhoek Gymnasium, which gave the company 1,500 students.

The company, which runs 47 campuses, is constructing nine more that could completed this financial year as part of stated goal to run 80 campuses by 2020



(Reporting by Zimasa Mpemnyama; editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng and David Clarke)