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Edited Transcript of ANIM3.SA earnings conference call or presentation 15-May-20 1:00pm GMT

Q1 2020 Anima Holding SA Earnings Call

SAO PAULO May 15, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Anima Holding SA earnings conference call or presentation Friday, May 15, 2020 at 1:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* André Tavares Andrade

Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board

* Marcelo Battistella Bueno

Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board

* Marina Oehling Gelman

Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board

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Presentation

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [1]

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(technical difficulty) [Interpreted] fourth quarter of 2019. It is a pleasure to have you in our virtual room today. Welcome, everyone.

Today, with us, we have Mr. Marcelo Battistella Bueno, our CEO; Mr. André Tavares, our Chief Financial Officer; and myself, Marina Gelman, International Relations Director. So we're gathered here virtually from inside our homes. And I would also like to thank the Anima Communications team for making this possible.

So this information is general and summarized and until this date should not be construed as a share acquisition invitation offer or request. This presentation may contain statements that merely express the expectations of the company's management as well as forecasts of future and uncertain events. And such expectations in our forecasts involve risks and uncertainties that should not be used to make decisions about the acquisition of the company's shares.

Now I'd like to give the floor to Marcelo.

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [2]

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[Interpreted] Good morning, everyone. Thank you, everyone. It is an honor to be here in this conference call about the earnings of the first quarter of 2020. We've been using digital technology intensively, and I hope you're all safe at home because we're going through a critical moment of our history and things are going to change after the pandemic of COVID-19.

Anyway, it is an honor to be here with you. I thought about the tone of this webinar. And I think that the most important thing is that we are ready to face this pandemic.

We had strong results in the first quarter because of our discipline, seriousness and our amazing team, who has a clear strategy. And this is all fruit of the work that has been done year after year. But we should look ahead and tell you how we're prepared to face this moment.

About COVID-19, it is important to emphasize that our capture structure is strong and prepared to face the storm. As Churchill would say, you should never waste the crisis. A crisis is an opportunity. So 3 to 4 years ago, we decided to focus on distance learning. Distance learning at that time was low quality here in Brazil, and we decided to focus then on a hybrid proposal. This was already a standout feature of our company, and because of the pandemic, we've been using it more and more.

Students are now studying at home safely and having access to high-quality education because we're always focused on providing high-quality education. Our 8,000 educators are also working from home efficiently and safely. This is really important. And in order to continue providing educational services, it is really hard to go through this moment, especially when it comes to regular middle and high school as well as higher education, we have chosen to adopt this hybrid proposal.

Many institutions are finding it hard to offer this distance learning. Some of the institutions were not able to migrate to the digital environment, but we already have this hybrid model. And we feel that we are strengthened. We've been doing that for almost 60 days, and we continue to offer high-quality education through this hybrid model.

Now we don't know if we're going to have a depression, a recession, and we need to prepare students to face what may come. We have worked with PraValer, a great partner of ours, to offer our students, new financing modalities so that the students can face the situation better. We also built a specific database to monitor COVID-19 effects on retention. And we are ready to go back to in-person activities as soon as possible as directed by the health authorities.

Now moving on to the next slide. Daniel Castanho and our Board has been working to reinforce our COVID-19 measures. So I'd like to thank our Board publicly here, especially Daniel Castanho and Daniel Goldberg. Daniel Goldberg invited me to lunch on February 18, and he talked about the COVID-19 scenario, and he said, "well, get prepared for working from home and getting ready to provide distance learning," and we did so. We got ready, and we feel that we were able to do that in advance.

On February 27, we started preparing for all the activities, and we've been meeting virtually, of course, to keep this up. We created an emergency committee for COVID, and we've been preparing to return to face-to-face interactions. But we know that things are going to be different from now on, but we're going to be even stronger after this.

So we have divided our measures into 4 pillars. The first one is people. All educators are at home, everyone using a 100% virtual environment. We're all using technology at home, working really hard, intensifying the academic experience. Our protocol was at the time that if we had someone tested positive, our campus would go online immediately. And that happened in our campus in Moóca. That was actually the first campus that started using technology 100% in Brazil. And the next day, Doria, our Governor, said that all schools had to go to a digital environment as well, and he suspended in-person classes.

We are also working on attracting new customers, new students, and we're also working hard to prevent dropout. We did a follow-on in January, and we also raised BRL 450 million from ISC. This was really important to strengthen our capital structure.

And we're also very much focused on society, our fourth pillar. That's part of our mission. Daniel Castanho was one of the authors of the no-layoffs manifesto, and we're also participating in social actions with the nations, volunteers, digital resources and integrating the Anima lab to produce masks.

So this is our strategy for COVID-19. Now I'd like to give the floor to André to talk about our results, then I'll come back for our Q&A session. And I'll tell you a bit more about how Anima is going to be positioned from now on. I think this is a unique opportunity to continue with our proposal and our strategy, and we should make the most of it.

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [3]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, Marcelo. Good morning, everyone. So today, I'm going to tell you a bit of our results -- about our results. Yesterday, after the market closed, we published a release, which is a more detailed version of the presentation you're watching right now. So now I'm going to give you the highlights of that release.

All of our indicators are growing or increasing. All the main indicators of our financial performance have evolved comparing the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2019. So our consolidated net revenue grew by 20%. We achieved almost BRL 340 million in net revenue.

Our student base grew by 10% stimulated by the new acquisitions that were consolidated, especially AGES and UniCuritiba. Now the great news is our ticket that had an increase of 9.6% compared to the first quarter of 2019, that is fruit of a great effort that we did, focusing on ticket growth. We've been talking about those in our releases and our documents already. So you're probably aware of it.

We've been talking about the improvements and costs with personnel, especially with our faculty. We were already projecting this with our E2A, the Anima learning environment or learning ecosystem. Because of that, we've been able to improve our cost with personnel by 2.7 percentage points compared to the first quarter of '19. And that led to an adjusted EBITDA growth of 21.4%, getting -- achieving BRL 118.3 million, and our margin achieving 34.9%, which is a 0.3 percentage point increase compared to the first quarter of 2019. These are the main highlights of our earnings release. You can see other the details in that document that was published yesterday.

Now I'd like to emphasize one point here. Those of you who are with us for a while, you know that we break down our education into 3 major blocks. These blocks have different increases in different indicators. We have what we call the base block with our mature units, especially in Belo Horizonte and São Paulo; these 2 metropolitan regions. And then we have the block of acquisitions that incorporates Sociesc, Alis and other acquisitions that we made in the past and starting this year, also incorporating AGES and UniCuritiba. And we have a third block of organic expansion. The campuses that were opened starting in 2017, mainly. We have one that opened in 2016, but most of them from 2017 to 2019.

So if you look at the details of these blocks, all of them had a positive growth. In our base block, while we know that there is more competitiveness in this block and considering the level of maturity of our units, we have a greatest challenge here when it comes to growing our revenue or growing our bottom line. But this is the smallest drop in revenue in recent quarters. So our revenue has been stabilizing, and we're working really hard to improve tickets. So we think we might see growth in this block in the near future. The operating results have been great. Even with a drop in top line, the E2A gain brought efficiency to us in recent quarters. So this is the block that has the best operating results for us.

Now in the block of acquisitions, most of the growth here comes from the acquisitions of AGES and UniCuritiba, but even if we remove this effect, Sociesc and the other institutions in this block had margin evolutions as well, especially AGES is bringing positive results here to our margin. UniCuritiba is younger. We've acquired it for 2 months only. So it has diluted our margins here a little bit. But even so, we've had a growth of 4.6 percentage points in the operating margins in this block.

Now the organic expansion block is still firm in its growth trajectory. Our '16, '17, '18 and '19 units have grown in net revenue by 45.3%, and we've also had a substantial growth of 6.1 percentage points in the operating margin. So this indicates that when mature, this block can even bring us higher margins than our base block since most management of the brands are more concentrated in this base block, where our largest units are. So when we look at the 3 blocks, we can see that all of them bring us great news about the first quarter of 2020.

Marina, now I'll give the floor back to you.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [4]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, André. Now we can start our Q&A session. You can use the chat or the Q&A section to ask your questions.

Well, since I have been interfacing with the market, I already have a few questions that have been asked to me quite frequently. So while everyone is getting ready to ask the questions, I'd like to focus on these.

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Questions and Answers

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [1]

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[Interpreted] Marcelo, can you share with us your intake process for the second semester of the year?

I'm going to put on a slide here about that to help you out.

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [2]

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[Interpreted] Well, we have 3 types of higher education institutions in Brazil after the COVID pandemic. Some higher education institutions continue offering high-quality education, and they have come to us to ask about our platform so that they can continue their activities. And we are also helping students to cope with all of this so that they don't have to drop out. So up until April 30, we have been focusing on these measures.

Starting in May. We are also focusing on our university entrance test for next year. This entrance test will be completely online. This is a new dynamic that would definitely not go back to what it was before. We have content platform. We're working with São Judas for a digital MVP offer, and we're also making the most of our technology and our data science to move forward with our

MPC algorithm to welcome new students or to help our current students who need new solutions to face the situation.

We have virtual tours, growth schools. We have testing sessions, so to speak. So prospects can go online and watch a class, watch a lesson through this testing platform. We have also started to intensify the care and support provided to our faculty and students and mental health measures, and we are offering mindfulness classes and many other initiatives to focus on mental health. And we're also intensifying the financial support provided. We cannot just close our eyes. We know that many families are already facing financial difficulties. So we have hired an educational insurance for those who have love their jobs. So that they can close the semester safely. And we also have new alternatives of financing and loan for students.

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [3]

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[Interpreted] Thank you Marcelo. Well, I think that you pretty much covered our initiatives for 2020-2022. Our intake will be made through virtual and online tests. But it is important to mention that we were already prepared for that. About a year ago, you had said that we needed to be ready to work online in our selective purposes and this was key for us. That's why we are so prepared to face this moment.

Now another thing that I should mention about intake is that in our midyear intake, transfers from one institution to another had a higher representative than in the beginning of the year intake because most of the students in the beginning of the year come straight from high school and not from other higher education institutions.

Now we face the difficulties of the lockdown, and we did not stop our classes for one single day. And the positive feedback that we got, both from students and from our faculty, make us feel ready so that in the midyear intake, we have -- we might have a higher rate of transfer from students coming from other institutions that have had their academic activities impacted by the lockdown, which we didn't, right? Our activities were not impacted.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [4]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, André and Marcelo for your answers. Now I received a few questions here already that I'd like to ask you. But first, Marcelo, can you tell us about the FASEH acquisition rationale? This is a Health Sciences University in Vespasiano in the state of Minas Gerais. Can you tell us about that, please?

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [5]

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[Interpreted] Well, growth is part of our strategy. Anima is celebrating 17 years of operations, and we have grown 50% organically and 50% through M&A. Now after the COVID pandemic, our Board of Directors has realized that M&A will be an even stronger opportunity from now on. So we are aware of the fact that M&As from now on will be even more strategic to us, and we have intensified our studies. And our Data Science group has shown us that some courses are more resilient than others and medicine is one of those resilient courses. So we have intensified the strategy of our Health Sciences vertical. So FASEH was a jewel that fit perfectly into this strategy. They have great -- the top rate at the Ministry of Education assessment. So we decided that this would be a very interesting and strategic acquisition. Ricardo Guimarães and their team are brilliant. They are helping us to offer more vacancies for medical courses, and they're also going to help us in the Health Sciences vertical with technology practices that they already have implemented.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [6]

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[Interpreted] Okay. Thank you, Marcelo. It's now 10:30. So I think we should go straight to our Q&A session. I have a few questions here to ask you that I received from the audience.

Thiago Bortoluci. This is our first question. Thank you, Ricardo, for your question. And thank you for your presence here.

He says, congratulations on your results. I have 2 questions. First, we saw a weaker intake with a higher ticket. Is it fair to say that from now on, you're going to be more rational when giving discounts? So focusing more on ticket value than on intake.

Can I answer this question, Marcelo?

Well, I'll start by saying. Thank you, Thiago. Our main takeaway message is the following: from now on, we're going to see a differentiation of the value proposition of different institutions differently from other players in the market. We have been implementing a strategy to try and find the optimal balance between number of students and tickets. We've been using technology for that because this is not something that you can do overnight. So we've been working on this and building this step by step. And this intake is showing that. The intake was already impacted by COVID. And one player in São Paulo had to go into this war price because of internal issues, but we were able to preserve our value proposition.

André, would you like to give further information now?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [7]

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[Interpreted] Well, actually, I don't think I have anything else to say. That's what I wanted to emphasize. We're not prioritizing one or another here when it comes to intake and ticket. We developed many processes and tools in order to find that optimal balance. And I think we're getting closer to that optimal balance. And we saw an increase in intake competitiveness in the mature locations where we operate, especially São Paulo. And because of that more intense competitiveness, we were able to get closer and closer to that optimal balance between volume and ticket value.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [8]

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[Interpreted] Okay. Thank you, André. We have another question here asking you to give you more details about HSM impairment?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [9]

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[Interpreted] Okay. Well, I'd say that the most significant impact felt by our business lines, either immediate impact or structural impact, was on HSM. So HSM was the one that was most hardly hit, but we had a lot of confidence in the growth of HSM, and we had a plan in place. We find partnerships with Singularity and others. And some premises of that plan are still valid, but that plan had to be significantly changed because of the low visibility that the sector of corporate education is getting now. So in the business of corporate education, we still have low visibility about how it's going to behave. But we think there will be major changes in that. So in light of the COVID pandemic, we revised the plan and we had to create new short, medium and long-term growth provisions for HSM. And because of a higher uncertainty that we're facing now, we had to revise those provisions.

So that's the reason for the numbers that we reported. But I'd say that from all our business lines, the one that has suffered the most immediate and structural impact was HSM. On the other hand, it has HSMu, which is offering graduate courses and other online courses, but that's still a small business compared to the relevance of HSM as a whole in our operations. Marina, you're muted.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [10]

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[Interpreted] Thank you. I'm sorry. Thank you once again for your answers.

Now we have 3 questions by Susana Salaru and Tito Ferraz from Itaú. Now the first question is, E2A savings, are they going to be capped at the same level? Or you think that this is going to grow faster from now on?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [11]

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[Interpreted] Well, we were already expecting an acceleration of the E2A gains in 2020 compared to 2019, which we saw. And now we think this is going to be even more dramatic for 2021, and that's because E2A has greater impact on 4-year courses. And E2A was implemented in 2018. And so this 4-year courses are now going into their third year. And E2A also has an impact on 5-year courses, but their impact will be larger on the fourth year of those 5-year courses. So the combined impact will be larger in the year of 2021.

So yes, we do expect that in 2021, there will be an acceleration in the E2A gains. And that's also due to the natural evolution of E2A. The COVID-19 pandemic taught us a lot about virtual labs and other opportunities to evolve our E2A platform.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [12]

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[Interpreted] Okay. Next question is about the base block. Do you believe in the maintenance of this revenue trajectory even with the COVID-19 dynamic? What do you expect?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [13]

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[Interpreted] Well, I think that our base block has a few trade-offs. We've been working on this movement headed by Marcelo to grow and increase our tickets, but the competitive level in this block is really high. So we have intense competition there. So structurally speaking, I think that the base block should be considered the most stable one. So we expect stability there. Of course, there can be a quarter or a year in which there is no growth or a bit less, but I would think that the base block is the stable one.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [14]

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[Interpreted] Okay. Now the last question they asked. Can you tell us a bit more about the digital university entrance test?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [15]

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[Interpreted] Marcelo, can you answer that?

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [16]

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[Interpreted] Yes. Thank you, Tito and Susana, for your question. I hope you're all safe at home. And as André said, we already had 100% digital app for the university entrance test. And after the COVID pandemic, we intensified our efforts on that app, and now we have this 100% digital university entrance test. We have also launched a few platforms. But this is a new world, too early to tell. But there are some interesting things happening. The original intake funnel that was in-person will be changed, and it will actually be better digitally. You can interact. You can offer those testing sessions. This is a new reality that is already happening.

So you might say, well, there won't be any university entrance test now that revenue will be lost? Well, I think things will be different from now on. That's for sure. But they will still happen. This will still happen, but differently. And we have a few lessons that we've been learning from all of this.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [17]

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[Interpreted] Now I have a question by Marcelo Santos from JP Morgan. Thank you, Marcelo. So he's asking whether the management sees the possibility of 100% online premium courses being launched after COVID-19? And is this an opportunity for Anima?

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [18]

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[Interpreted] Oh, yes, definitely. This is not what we see in the distance learning arena in Brazil. The reality has shown us that, indeed, there is a very big room for digital proposals that make intense use of technology. I've been taking part in webinars, and I think that we have opportunities for 100% digital courses. Yes. We conducted some studies that have shown that our students now have different mindsets. Some students want more in-person interactions and others want less in-person interactions. So of course, we're always going to focus on providing high-quality education, focusing on our value proposition and, of course, being compensated for that.

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [19]

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[Interpreted] Marina. Let me add something to the question asked by Marcelo Santos. When we say digital, we'd like to mention that COVID-19 accelerated the strength of a hybrid model. Our investors know that we've been talking about this hybrid model for a long time now. So the COVID-19 pandemic just accelerated that and ended all resistances that there were towards this hybrid model. And Marcelo is always saying that.

Depending on the life moment of students, they want one thing more than another. But of course, it can change the way classes are given. But we do not want to overcome the educational experience. I mean, we don't want to replace the educational experience that we offer. So either in-person or online, what Anima has is a differential as to offer this amazing educational experience.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [20]

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[Interpreted] Okay. Now Marcelo had another question that I was going to ask you, but anyway, what he wants is an update on the behavior of the students in April and May when they get their tuition fees to pay or payment slips to pay for the tuition fees?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [21]

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[Interpreted] Well, everyone knows that the higher education sector faces a chronic problem of not receiving the tuition fees on the due date. We always have overdue fees. Students can pay -- cannot pay their fees on time. And then at the end of the semester, we have to renegotiate the debt for them to be able to reenroll. And most of the students are able to reenroll for the following semester. So when we look at April and May, I would say that we have an increase in the overdue fees, but we still don't know if this is actually going to be converted into dropout rates. We have many initiatives in place to minimize or undo the effects of this overdue tuition fees. So we have hired an insurance for students who have lost their jobs or if their financial guardians have lost their jobs. We have also intensified our partnership with PraValer that will finance these 3 monthly fees and also next semester fees for students who are facing difficulties at this time. And we have anticipated the initiatives of our program called Descola or takeoff, which is a program that tries to equalize tuition fees or manage this tuition fees. So these initiatives will be intensified in May, June, and especially in the reenrollment period for 2020.2.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [22]

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[Interpreted] Yes. André, I'm just showing the slide with the summarized flow of our retention process.

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [23]

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[Interpreted] Oh, Great. So looking at the slide, as you can see, we have evolved greatly in our predictive dropout model. So this is a model that rates the students to guide the work of our coordinators and our retention center to focus on students that are more vulnerable at this time. So you can see the flow chart there. If the student meets the criteria of the insurance, then they will be forwarded to the educational insurance offer. If they do not meet the insurance criteria and have -- and the student has debt before April, then we can offer them some agreements that are part of the Decola program or they can go to PreValer or they can use Decola program for the overdue fees. And then for future fees, they can sign a partnership with PreValer. And if the student has an academic performance above 70%, we know that academic performance is an excellent proxy for dropout, then in that case, we don't even require a guarantor for that student that has a performance above 70%. And our course coordinators are working really hard because dropout has many facets, and we need to work from both sides because we might have other reasons that are not financial, playing a part in that decision. So we have several initiatives in place as well, focusing on mental health. So we're offering emotional support to our students. This is a moment of emotional instability. I mean students might be fearful for their future, the future of their profession. And offering then emotional support to those students when they're going through such an instability is key for us to be able to control dropout rates.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [24]

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[Interpreted] Thank you very much, André. Now the next question by Marcelo Santos is about Unisul. What was their intake reenrollment rates, turnaround plans? Marcelo Bueno, can you give us some info on that?

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [25]

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[Interpreted] Hi Marcelo. We are now in a moment of comanagement. We already have a Board there in place and everything is aligned. We have been working hard with them and learning a lot from them. This is a differentiated brand that has differentiated teams. So we're working remotely whenever possible with them and things are going well. We're very proud of this project actually, just like we are with UniCuritiba, AGES and FASEH in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte. So yes, we're very proud of those.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [26]

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[Interpreted] Thank you very much, Marcelo. Now there is a question here about the M&A strategy in these times of uncertainty. Do you think that FASEH was a specific acquisition only? Or do you expect the M&A agenda to be as full of acquisitions as last year?

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [27]

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[Interpreted] Well, we think that M&A is a big leverage that will be even more powerful now with COVID-19. So we're going to be more selective, of course, but we want to intensify our more resilient ticket with stronger brands as well. During our conversations for the follow-on, I said that I would never imagine I was going to talk with institutions I was talking to. Many institutions have had to close their doors because they could not offer high-quality distance education overnight. Indeed, we have been working on that for 4 years. So it just like happened -- what happened in retail with Magazine Luíza. We now have this omnichannel strategy. Life will become digital. But unfortunately, many institutions were not prepared for this scenario. And we were and because of that, we're going to have many opportunities in M&A.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [28]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, Marcelo. Well, yes, that question was asked by Samuel Alves from BTG.

Now another question here, André, about default perspective from the second quarter of 2020 onwards?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [29]

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[Interpreted] Well, we don't release our projections. But since our sector here has a half year cycle and the pandemic has had effects on default rates in the second quarter, I would say that the effects on default started in the second semester onwards, will not be that strong, that great. We have to work hard right now to revert the uncertainty that students are feeling right now so that this doesn't convert into dropout rates. But since our cycle is last 6 months, this one semester, I don't think this is going to be affected more than it already has been. But the sector, of course, depends on the economy and on the trust people feel about the future. They have to feel confident that their investments in education will bring about improvements for them. So of course, we're very watchful about economic indicators and our indicators, of course, so that we can better understand the actual impact forward.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [30]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, André. We have one last question. If you want to ask other questions. Please feel free to do so. This webinar will be recorded and available on our website, both in Portuguese and in English.

Now we have a question by Santa Fé Investimentos, Mr. Fernando Bueno. What is Anima planning in terms of affordable medical courses that are still high-quality, of course, considering the needs for doctors here in Brazil?

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [31]

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[Interpreted] Well, that's another lesson taught by the pandemic, the importance to be human, the importance of our relationship and the importance of health care courses. So Telemedicine and we've been working on our verticals to contribute to Brazil by offering high-quality medical education. That is key. This is something we're taking very seriously. We have to be very careful and serious when considering that. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized our belief that we need to educate doctors, providing them with high-quality education and by using technology to transform not only education, in general, but medical education itself. Telemedicine is something that we have to do now because of the pandemic, and I'm sure that the medicine of the future will be different from what it is right now.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [32]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, Marcelo. And thank you, Mr. Fernando, for your question.

Okay. We have 2 final questions by Marcelo Santos. They're very much related to each other. So I'll ask them as one single question. And I'd like to help answering this question.

Can you please detail your going-back-to-school protocol? Do you have alternatives for students who would like to study from home even when health authorities enable in-person classes or allow in-person classes?

Thank you once again, Marcelo, for your questions. Together with Prevention and Care Committee, I've been taking part in public meetings with the Secretariat of Education in São Paulo, and Procon, the Consumer Protection Authority. And from the beginning, we said that what the public authorities require is a minimum. And our protocols do not necessarily coincide with those of the public authorities because our -- we are even more demanding than some of these protocols. Having said that, this is quite original issue. So I'm not going to give you details about our protocols right now, but I can share that with you later, if you'd like. But our protocols are going to be phased out. We are going to use personal protection equipment, measure temperatures. And there are many other measures in place.

Now about the students who would like to study from home. Our E2A model is a competency-based model that can help us greatly through these times. We will be able to increase the digital workload of students as much as possible so that students are always protected. Now the other -- the 40% of in-person classes or in-person activities has been changing. This was a moment that was really important to break paradigm. The feelings about digital education in Brazil were quite negative because there was always a dichotomy between in-person learning and distance learning. But in our model, we already had teachers in the classrooms using digital platforms. And now we have teachers at home using these so-called in-person resources or functionalities. And so I think this is the perfect model that can adapt to what each student needs. This is a new way of living. So we have to adapt to that, and I think we're prepared for that.

Marcelo and André, would you like to a anything?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [33]

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[Interpreted] Well, as I said in the beginning, on February 18, we were warned about the need to work from home and to send our 140,000 students to study from home, too. That was quite scary at that time. And we had to discuss what our call center would look like and what our relationship center would look like. But since we had time to prepare for that, we had like 30 to 40 days to prepare for that and we had already been working on that for the last 3 to 4 years. So I'd say we were very well prepared. New Zealand, Australia, Singapore also had good models, and we were prepared for any and all scenario. So we're also now talking about students who are at higher risk and those students, of course, will take longer to go back to in-person interactions, and we're ready to deal with that. So we're starting to prepare to go back to in-person interactions. We'll see what the health authorities will say. And when that happens, we'll be ready to do what's best for our whole community and for each student. So we're being very humble. We're following the protocols of the health care authorities and the WHO as well, of course.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [34]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, Marcelo. Okay. There are no further questions. So just like to remind you that we're available to you. You can get in touch via e-mail or cell phone -- yes, André?

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André Tavares Andrade, Anima Holding S.A. - CFO & Member of the Executive Board [35]

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[Interpreted] Marcelo and Marina, before you close our call, I just like to say that this was an excellent experience. We've been learning so much with the pandemic, and I think that we're getting better. And I'd say that this has been a great experience. And having Marina here with us has been great. She has added some elegance to our earnings release. Maybe this is our new normal, the model that we should adopt from now on for our release calls. What do you think?

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [36]

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[Interpreted] Yes. The last earnings call are in the past. Now we have many analysts connected, been able to interact with us in this more transparent dynamics. So yes, I agree. And this is also being simultaneously interpreted into English. So this is an excellent example of our new normal, which is digital.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [37]

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[Interpreted] You're right, Marcelo, I agree. Well, next time, we can actually open for people to ask the questions themselves. I didn't know that. Well, we're learning. Next time, maybe.

So thank you very much, Marcelo. This is the first time I take part in an earnings release call with you. It's been a great honor. Thank you. I really enjoyed it. So I'd like to thank you all for being with us in the last hour. So now I'd like to give the floor to Marcelo for his final remarks.

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Marcelo Battistella Bueno, Anima Holding S.A. - CEO & Member of Executive Board [38]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, André, Marina and everyone, for your presence here today. As I said, we have to look ahead into the future. We've been devoting a lot of time to the COVID-19 pandemic and our future perspectives. We've also been focusing on the positive results that we have achieved in the first quarter of 2020, and I'd like to congratulate our teams for having such a clear and disciplined agenda. We've been able to adapt quite fast to the new needs with the pandemic. And I think that we are prepared to make the most of the opportunities that will come right now. I'd like to emphasize that Anima has a great ability to adapt. And we have used our hybrid learning model to benefit the whole country and especially our students.

So yes, I think we are very well prepared to this new moment. We've been working on that for the last 60 days, and we're definitely prepared and our strategy has shown correct. This hybrid model has proven to be a differential in this new scenario. And within this new scenario, we need to emphasize that differently from other sectors like aviation, hotels and restaurants who have had to close their doors. We haven't stopped working. Our mission is to provide high-quality education continuously, and we saw an opportunity to differentiate ourselves from other players. This was the differential that we already had. Some players decided to focus more on volume than on ticket value. Other players focused on finding this optimal balance between volume and ticket. But after this pandemic, this difference will be more dramatic and I think that we should focus more and more on the strength of our brand, the strength of our teams and the strength of our discipline. Anima is going to make a difference, and we'll continue providing high-quality education, no matter what.

So thank you all very much for working with us. Thank you for staying at home, for providing our students with emotional support and high-quality education. We're now providing meditation, yoga, marshal art classes, everything we can to provide our students with emotional support in a time of need. So thank you very much, and let's continue strong towards the new future. Thank you very much, and have a good weekend.

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Marina Oehling Gelman, Anima Holding S.A. - IR & Institutional Relations Officer and Member of Executive Board [39]

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[Interpreted] Thank you, everyone. See you soon. Bye-bye.

[Portions of this transcript that are marked Interpreted were spoken by an interpreter present on the live call.]