Fiscal 2018 was a year of tremendous opportunities and challenges.
I am pleased to report that the Adtalem team addressed the opportunities and responded to the challenges in ways that we believe have made us a stronger and more competitive company heading into Fiscal 2019.
The past year saw us enter into agreements to transfer the ownership of DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Business and Carrington College. Once completed, these two divestitures will significantly transform our portfolio. Our remaining assets create a more focused, higher performing portfolio; competing in areas where we have the right to win with platforms upon which we have opportunities to grow.
The past year also presented us with an unprecedented set of challenges in the form of hurricanes Irma and Maria. These two “Category 5” storms posed an existential threat to our students, colleagues and facilities at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) and Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), and forced a full evacuation of our medical schools from St. Maarten and Dominica.
However, the Adtalem community responded to this crisis with extraordinary professionalism and empathy. We successfully relocated AUC and RUSM minimizing interruption in their respective operations and leveraged the crisis as a catalyst for identifying a new long-term home for RUSM in Barbados – a location that provides opportunities for enhanced competitiveness relative to other medical schools. This was no small feat. And it would be impossible to overstate how proud I am of the way the Adtalem team performed in support of our resilient students and colleagues in the Caribbean.
Even as the Adtalem team managed through these extraordinary developments over the course of the past year, it also managed to execute impressively and exceed our plans for the year. Our fiscal 2018 operating results reflect growth across our verticals, offset in part by cyclical headwinds affecting the Technology and Business vertical and costs associated with the transfer of DeVry University.
Of particular note was impressive organic growth at the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), which we believe continues to validate our investment thesis and has positioned us as a leader in the professional education space for financial services. As we further refine our inorganic growth strategies, ACAMS serves as an instructive precedent – a scalable platform with attractive organic growth potential that permits us to be methodical and targeted in identifying new opportunities for additional scale, strengthened market positioning or complementary capabilities. Our commitment to the prudent and disciplined allocation of capital means that we will consider only those acquisitions that will be accretive to the portfolio in the long-term.
So, as we move into fiscal 2019, we have significant cash flow, brands that are associated with market leadership in each of our verticals, products and services that are clearly differentiated in their respective markets, and a team that understands both scale and profitability. Our team is more experienced, more diverse, and more growth-oriented, and that is reflected in our ability to deliver consistent operating results. You can trust that we will continue to streamline and strategically align our portfolio to deliver growth while driving improved operating efficiencies across our organization, and prudently balance our capital allocation by investing in platforms for growth while providing direct returns to our owners.
Just as important, you can expect that our work will continue to be guided by our mission of providing global access to knowledge that transforms lives and enables careers.
On behalf of our Board of Directors and the entire Adtalem Global Education team, I would like to thank you, our fellow owners, for your support. We are very fortunate to have partners in education and investment who understand our value proposition and have confidence in our ability to deliver transformative academic outcomes and superior financial returns.