AcadeMedia’s vision is to be an international role odel with respect to quality, results and innovation.
Over the past year, we have worked with with about 500 managers and employees to develop a new overall strategic plan, known as Färdplan 2020 (Roadmap 2020). Our goal is to be an attractive choice for students, parents and education participants, and therefore the basis of the Group’s strategy is to continue to be the leading provider from a quality perspective within all the segments in which the Group operates. The Group also plans to continue its expansion within existing and new geographical markets, both organically and through acquisitions.
AcadeMedia needs profitable growth in order to take advantage of new ideas and development opportunities that arise in new and established markets. Below is a description of the main aspects of the Company’s growth strategy.
Continued efforts to maintain and develop market-leading quality and educational diversity
The Group’s objective is to deliver high-quality education with diverse educational models and study focuses. High quality education is an increasingly important competitive advantage in an atmosphere of increased awareness among students, program participants and parents.
The Group will therefore continue to implement the AcadeMedia Model in existing and new establishments in order to ensure consistent quality follow-up and a high degree of transparency. In addition, the Group intends to be a leading provider as regards systematic quality and development in the education sector in general. As part of this, AcadeMedia – as the leading provider – aims to have the best school principals, preschool heads and unit heads in the sector.
Optimization of capacity utilization in existing units and ongoing efficiency improvements
There is more potential to improve long-term sustainable profitability by increasing capacity utilization at the Group’s existing units. A number of units in each sector have available capacity and the ability to accept more students and program participants. The potential is greatest in the Upper Secondary School segment where capacity utilization is lower after several years of declining enrollment resulting from weak demographic trends.
Organic growth by establishing new units
AcadeMedia sees great opportunities for continued organic growth through the establishment of new units, particularly in the preschool segment. The Group believes that positive demographic trends and increasing urbanization in the coming years will create good opportunities for establishing new units in large and medium-sized growth municipalities in Sweden, Norway and Germany.
AcadeMedia plans to focus on geographic areas with a high level of population growth and where new homes are being built. As a rule, new preschool units in areas of this type quickly reach satisfactory levels of capacity utilization which are retained over time.
Continued growth within adult education
AcadeMedia is the leading provider of adult education in Sweden and has a wide range of education programs and strong brands. Adult education is a prioritized area in society to improve opportunities for the unemployed and give arriving immigrants a better chance of being integrated in society. Significant education initiatives will also be required to maintain satisfactory levels of proficiency in certain occupations in areas such as healthcare and manufacturing industry.
Continued consolidation of the fragmented market in existing geographic markets
As the market-leading and largest individual independent provider in northern Europe, AcadeMedia is the natural player to continue to drive the consolidation of the fragmented education market in Sweden and Norway. AcadeMedia can also help drive consolidation in Germany.
AcadeMedia continually reviews and evaluates potential acquisitions based on a comprehensive acquisition strategy that aims to grow and strengthen the Group’s position in areas with a growing and sustainable student base, to make acquisitions where the Group’s knowledge, quality focus and size can contribute to raising the quality and efficiency of the acquired operations and to make strategic acquisitions of strong brands.
International expansion focusing on the preschool operations
AcadeMedia’s aim is to expand its business over the next few years into new geographic markets. The successful acquisition of Espira, Norway’s second largest preschool group, is a clear example of the Group’s ability to acquire and develop operations outside Sweden.
Nordic preschools are often held up as an example internationally. This is mainly due to the educational model, which places the child clearly at the center and focuses on learning from an early age. The preschool system includes children from the ages of one to five and also integrates all these ages into a cohesive whole, which is unusual internationally. This enables both parents to continue their education and have active careers. As Europe increasingly becomes a level playing field, particularly in the job market, there will be greater demand for good child care that allows both parents to work.
The trend is clear in several European countries and the Group is constantly evaluating opportunities to export the Nordic preschool model. AcadeMedia conducted detailed analysis of the German preschool market over a long period and believes there are good opportunities for successful expansion since this market is similar in many respects to the Norwegian and Swedish preschool markets. In February 2016 AcadeMedia expanded its operations into the German market through the acquisition of Joki with seven preschools and a total of around 450 students in the Munich area.