Sylvan reports record profits from doubled revenues 2 new contracts for Columbia firm

July 23, 1996|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

Columbia-based Sylvan Learning Systems Inc., which provides testing and tutoring services nationwide, said yesterday that it had record revenues and profits during its second quarter.

The publicly held company also reported another slice of good news yesterday: It has landed contracts with Microsoft Corp. and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards to administer certification exams for proficiency in computer software and architecture skills.

Sylvan said it netted $3 million on revenues of $39.6 million during the second quarter, which ended June 30. Those figures represent a dramatic boost in revenues -- 108 percent -- over the same three months of last year, and a 50 percent rise in net income over the 1995 period. It was the second quarter in a row that Sylvan reported strong revenue and income gains.

Sylvan said its information technology business, which provides testing services to certify computer professionals such as network engineers, accounted for most of the increase in revenues, jumping $13.5 million during the quarter. The company has contracts with IBM and Novell Inc. to administer such tests, said Vickie Glazar, a spokeswoman.

The company also said it saw strong growth in its Learning Center division, which sells franchises nationwide for student tutoring centers. While sales of new franchises were down, royalties from that division grew $585,000, or 24 percent, to $3 million in the second quarter, Sylvan said.

Learning Centers that the company has owned and operated for at least a year reported revenue gains of $800,000, or 28 percent.

The company said its financial results for the quarter continued to be hurt by $1.2 million in recurring expenses associated with its purchase of Drake Prometric L.P., a Bloomington, Minn.-based company that specialized in computerized tests for high-tech workers.

Those expenses include $500,000 paid to terminated Drake employees. Sylvan said the second quarter would be the last one affected by the acquisition.

Sylvan estimated that its four-year contract with the architectural board would be worth $10 million. It will oversee testing of about 60,000 professionals a year under the deal.

Sylvan said it was uncertain of the financial effect that the Microsoft contract would have. The contract calls for the company to offer large employers a way to test employees and potential employees on their personal computer and computer software skills. Sylvan said it must track how many people take the test during the fourth quarter of this year before it can make a projection on revenues.

Pub Date: 7/23/96

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