Our Board of Directors approved our 2017 half-year financial report.
Revenues reached €21,9 million, increasing by 49%. All of our divisions grew, especially Industry, which increased by 27,7% compared to the previous report. Investments rose, too: since our founding in 2005, we have launched and helped grow 105 innovative businesses on the European market.
In the first six months of 2017, we implemented four strategic operations that included the acquisition of two schools (Little English School and English International School) to spread our education model, the strengthening of BigRock, the first Italian school of computer graphics and visual effects, and the acquisition of Celi, a digital consulting company specialized in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
People are still at the heart of our project: since the beginning of 2017, we have hired almost 90 new "farmers" who work in our 5 offices all over Italy and contribute to build the future we have imagined.
Our founder Riccardo Donadon declared:
"After dedicating 2016 to reinforcing our new strategy, in the first six months of 2017 we carried out a series of extraordinary operations aimed at reaching our goal to exceed market expectations and anticipate the analysts' forecast by one year.
The numbers are very positive: the production value rose to €21,9 million, an increment of 49% compared to 2016 half-year report and was driven by the Industry division, which increased its revenues by 27,7%. Also the Education division also grew more than expected.
Our EBITDA is still negative, but it is decreasing and remains within expected limits that we are aware of, considering the important investment we have made in building a modern, highly digital and replicable education model.
We made important investments to extend our student base and reinforce our business model. Within the Education division, we acquired three schools of excellence: Little English School (Vicenza), English International School of Rosà (Vicenza) and BigRock. We also founded a new H-International School in Monza together with a group of local entrepreneurs.
We expanded our consulting services for companies with the acquisition of Celi, a Turin-based research center leader in AI and machine learning.
With acquisitions and new hirings we have reached almost 500 employees all over Italy.
We started the new school year with 800 students in our Campus and, a few days ago, the BA in Digital Management began, too. In collaboration with Ca' Foscari, it is the first Bachelor's degree in a Management degree class in Italy and started with 81 students rather than the 60 we had estimated, after receiving more than 200 applications.
As expected, the net result is negative, but we'll have important news about our investment portfolio in the coming weeks that will improve the "last line" of the report at the end of the year.
There are many European companies we have invested in in the first six months of the year. For some of them, we had exits in just a few months with a return of 2,5 more than the initial investment. We are also putting our trust in different projects in the fields of industry 4.0, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
On another positive note, the Veneto Region's President approved a regional decree that recognizes H-CAMPUS – that will be developed in partnership with Cattolica Assicurazioni and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti – as a "project of strategic interest".
There is a real chance that 2017 will exceed our expectations. This year concludes a two-year period of investments of the capital raised in our IPO after transitioning from an investment model to an industrial model. This plan will see the progressive conversion of value in all the concerned areas for the 2018-19-20 period."
You can read the half-year report here (in Italian only).