Mengly J Quach Education Plc (MJQE), a newly listed company, reported sound business performance for the 2022 financial year ended December 31 as the education sector and broader economy rebounded from the Covid-19 crisis.

MJQE on June 28 became the first educational enterprise to list on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), having raised more than $5 million through its initial public offering (IPO) on the local bourse’s Main Board.

The firm had received approval in-principle from the Non-Banking Financial Services Authority (NBFSA) on April 4 for the IPO and offer price of 2,080 riel ($0.50) per share.

In an audited financial statement filed to the CSX on July 12, MJQE posted revenue and total comprehensive income of $25.221 million and $2.294 million for the year, up 54.33 per cent and up 4,849 per cent from $16.343 million and $46,348 in the 2021 financial year.

Speaking to The Post on July 13, CSX director for market operations Kim Sopha Nita hailed MJQE’s recent performance as “outstanding”, commenting that the private-school sub-sector has “recovered well after Covid”.

“Private education in Cambodia is a growing sector and is one of the most profitable businesses too. There’s a big market but there’s also high competition. Nevertheless I think its good market positioning, strategies, credibility of the top management and its concrete expansion plan would be enough to attract more investors,” she surmised.

At the listing ceremony, MJQE chairman, CEO and namesake Quach Mengly stated that the company presently operates 16 branches of its schools, Aii Language Center (Aii) and American Intercon School (AIS), and plans to expand that number to 160 around the country. Mengly made no mention of any aspirations to take the business internationally.

Although commenting that four more branches would be established without using IPO money, he did not disclose how many are anticipated for each of the coming years.

Nonetheless, the IPO proceeds fell short of the $10 million target set by MJQE, which Nita chalked up to general regional and global economic slowdown.

“It’s not easy to raise money at this time when local and international econom[ies are] vulnerable. I in turn saw it a success, and the company could raise more fund[s] any time suitable later,” she said.

The price for MJQE shares (ticker symbol: MJQE) ended up at 2,320 riel ($0.56) on July 11 – their 10th day of trading – up 11.54 per cent from its 2,080 riel IPO price, with a daily average of 143,340.1 shares traded for 311.875 million riel. On just the first day, 457,959 shares were traded for 998.688 million riel.

For comparison, CamGSM shares (ticker symbol: CGSM) – listed a day earlier – closed their 10th day at 3,300 riel, soaring by 45.37 per cent against its 2,270 riel IPO price, with a daily average of 221,792.4 shares traded for 578.607 million riel. A total of 481,559 shares traded for 1.127 billion riel on the first day alone.