July 18, 2018 / 12:34 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Navitas to close 'subscale' businesses, shares plunge

(Recasts with college closures, adds share movement, background)

July 18 (Reuters) - Australian education provider Navitas Ltd said on Wednesday it would close two U.S. colleges and an Australian division in a restructuring that would cost A$130 million ($95.9 million), sending its shares down 7 percent.

The changes would focus on the United States, which accounted for about 17 percent of the division's revenue and comprises eight SAE colleges, the firm said in a statement.

Navitas said one-off costs from the restructuring would be reflected in its 2018 financial year result. Navitas is scheduled to report full-year results on Aug. 7.

Group Chief Executive David Buckingham said in a statement the company had decided to act after a review of the Careers and Industry Division determined that certain businesses were "likely to remain as either subscale or with limited opportunities for profitable returns".

The company said that is annual core earnings prior to these one-off charges were in line with market expectations.

Earlier this year, Navitas's first-half net profit halved, hit by college closures at home and a hard-line immigration policy in the United States that spooked student enrolments in the world's largest education market.

Shares of the firm were trading 7 percent lower in broadly higher overall market. ($1 = 1.3552 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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