5 Aug 2016

Intueri Education dumps chief executive

4:39 pm on 5 August 2016

Troubled education provider Intueri Education Group's board has asked the chief executive to step aside, as it executes a plan to improve the company's poor financial performance.

Divers (stock image)

Photo: 123RF

Intueri had recently cut directors' fees, laid off staff, suspended dividends and written down asset values as its operations are reviewed by the Tertiary Education Commission and Serious Fraud Office.

The board has confirmed it was on track to meet the first-half underlying operating profit forecast of $10 million for the six months ended in June, but the second half was expected to be "softer".

Intueri's share price fell nearly 18 percent following this morning's announcement, to just a fraction of what it was a little over two years ago when it debuted on the stockmarket at $2.63.

Chief financial officer Rod Marvin, who has been appointed Intueri's interim chief executive, said enrolments had been impacted by bad publicity, while tougher visa requirements for Indian students had impacted international enrolments, and revenue from its Australian Online business would be limited by a funding cap.

Despite the challenges, he said the company had a solid plan to turn the business around.

"I'm really positive about the future. We've got a few challenges we're working through, but we have a clear strategic plan. We've got the support of the banks and I am really looking forward to working with the executive team to implement those plans."

Mr Marvin said the board had decided to replace Rob Facer as the chief executive following the approval of that plan.

"The board approved that yesterday, but decided that in light of the current performance and the outlook for the business that it wanted to make a leadership change."

Providing its funding expectations were met, Intueri expected a full year underlying profit of $15 m for the 12 months ending in December, which was 36 percent down on last year's $23m.

The Australian-owned company has been under investigation since it received funding for non-existent students at its dive school between 2009 and 2014.

Late last year, the office gave Intueri permission to buy the New Zealand Institute of Sport, which offers diplomas and degrees in sport and fitness.

The dive school also pleaded guilty to a WorkSafe charge following a student death in 2014.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs