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New Oriental Announces Expansion into Professional Certification Preparation
Leader in Chinese Private Education Enters New Growth Market
BEIJING, Nov. 13 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- New Oriental Education and Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: EDU), the largest provider of private educational services in China, today announced the establishment of the Beijing New Oriental North Star Training School. The new school is the first step in New Oriental's expansion into the professional certification preparation field, which includes preparation for the PRC bar, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and civil service exams.
''China's rapid growth in recent years has created large demand for certified professionals by Chinese and multinational companies as well as government agencies,'' said New Oriental's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michael Yu. ''The result has been a corresponding increase in demand for high quality professional certification preparation courses and materials, which New Oriental is in a unique position to provide.''
In 2006, approximately 280,000 individuals took the PRC bar exam, 560,000 individuals took the CPA exam, and about two million individuals took the civil service exam in China. Due to the importance of the examinations, a majority of these professional certification exam takers have taken at least one preparation course. New Oriental will seek to leverage its educational platform to target senior college students and working adults, who together represent the majority of those seeking professional certifications.
''We also expect this new business line to complement the existing New Oriental education portfolio by offering higher average sales prices and less seasonality than the traditional overseas and domestic test preparation businesses,'' added Louis T. Hsieh, New Oriental's Chief Financial Officer. ''For example, a typical bar exam preparation course often features class sizes of 50 to 300 or more, runs for six months, and has an approximate blended average sales price of US$500.''
''Our entry into the professional certification field is an important step in our efforts to continue expanding New Oriental's business,'' continued Mr. Yu. ''The existing market for professional certification exam preparation in China is immature and highly fragmented, offering an excellent opportunity for New Oriental to create a leading professional certification brand.''
''We do not expect the new school to contribute significant, if any, revenues in the 2007 fiscal year, but we will incur setup costs as a result of the new business,'' concluded Mr. Hsieh.
About New Oriental
New Oriental is the largest provider of private educational services in China based on the number of program offerings, total student enrollments and geographic presence. New Oriental offers a wide range of educational programs, services and products consisting primarily of English and other foreign language training, test preparation courses for major admissions and assessment tests in the United States, the PRC and Commonwealth countries, primary and secondary school education, development and distribution of educational content, software and other technology, and online education. New Oriental's ADSs, each of which represents four common shares, currently trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ''EDU.''
Safe Harbor Statement
This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the ''safe harbor'' provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as ''will,'' ''expects,'' ''anticipates,'' ''future,'' ''intends,'' ''plans,'' ''believes,'' ''estimates'' and similar statements. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about New Oriental's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Information regarding these risks and uncertainties is included in our registration statement on Form F-1 and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. New Oriental does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law. All information provided in this press release is as of November 13, 2006, and New Oriental undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.
For more information, please contact: In China: Ms. Sisi Zhao New Oriental Education and Technology Group Inc. Tel: +86-10-6260-5566 x8203 Email: email@example.com Mr. Rory Macpherson Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Tel: +86-10-8520-6553 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org In the United States: Mr. Thomas Smith Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Tel: +1-212-880-5269 Email: email@example.com
SOURCE New Oriental Education and Technology Group Inc. -0- 11/13/2006 /CONTACT: In China, Ms. Sisi Zhao of New Oriental Education and Technology Group Inc., +86-10-6260-5566 x8203, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mr. Rory Macpherson, +86-10-8520-6553, or email@example.com, or in the United States, Mr. Thomas Smith, +1-212-880-5269, or firstname.lastname@example.org, both of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, for EDU / (EDU) CO: New Oriental Education and Technology Group Inc. ST: China IN: EDU HED WRK FIN SU: PDT LG -- CNM017 -- 9633 11/13/2006 08:00 EST http://www.prnewswire.com