Do Not Read This: Diego Cagahastian from Opinyon
Do Not Read This

Schools hard hit by pandemic but STI bounces back

Oct 25, 2021, 3:31 AM
Diego S. Cagahastian

Diego S. Cagahastian


IT IS hard for all private educational institutions to continue their profitability, or even to survive, because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated almost all businesses -- except that gods-anointed one called Pharmally.

It is therefore to the credit of the owners and management of STI Education Systems Holdings, Inc. ($:STI) to have bounced from losses to profits from their continued operations even under the new normal.

STI Holdings, which owns one of the country’s largest network of schools, earned P101.7 million in its fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, a reversal from a net loss of P117.5 million the previous year.

How the company made this possible is a good playbook on corporate cost-cutting, streamlining of operations, and adoption to new ways in the education sector.

With our rapidly expanding population, the business model of schools is one which assures consistent growth through the years, if proper management operations are implemented.

This is proven by Phinma Corporation ($:PHN), Centro Escolar University ($:CEU), Far Eastern University ($:FEU), iPeople Inc. ($:IPO) and the top educational institutions like Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle, and University of Santo Tomas.

STI Holdings is different because it has shown how to bounce back from adversity.

In a recent disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company and its subsidiaries attributed the positive performance to the group’s cost management measures, as operating expenses dropped by 16 percentto P1.03 billion from P1.21 billion a year earlier.

Based on STI Holdings’ Sustainability Report, enrollment in private schools nationwide dipped in school year (SY) 2020-2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, a survey by STI Education Services Group (STI ESG) – the largest of the group’s three educational institutions – showed that some students did not pursue education in the last SY due to financial difficulties their families and benefactors were beset with at that time.

Despite this, the group still registered an enrollment of 70,223 students for SY 2020-2021.

“Even as enrollment dropped due to the pandemic, we purposely chose to stay committed to the education of youth in these challenging times. In doing so, we innovated our technology-enhanced programs that will enable our students to continue learning even through a different setup to ensure their health and safety,” said STI Holdings president and CEO Monico Jacob.

$:STI opened at 0.3600 last Friday and closed at 0.3650 for an increase of 0.0100 or 2.82 percent.

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