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Tree House climbs 13% on expansion plans

Shares of Tree House Education & Accessories climbed to a new high on Thursday as brokers said the company's aggressive expansion plans prompted investors to take a positive view on its prospects. The stock touched Rs 230 intra-day, before ending with over 13% gain at Rs 217.1 on the BSE. The counter attracted significantly higher volumes as 5.3 lakh shares changed hands, more than 20 times the two-week average. The company, which operates pre-schools under the brand name Tree House, has been opening a large number of new branches across the country to cash in on the huge potential of the sector, said Tree House Education & Accessories MD Rajesh Bhatia. "We have been expanding in a manner which will be beneficial to our stakeholders at large," he said. The company currently operates 234 pre-schools across the country. Private equity firm Matrix Partners India owned 26.7% equity as on December-end. In August last year, Tree House Education & Accessories made a public issue at a price band of Rs 135-Rs 153 per share to raise between Rs 114 crore and Rs 129 crore. The offer was subscribed 1.8 times its size. The company posted a net profit of Rs 5.3 crore on sales of Rs 17.5 crore in the July-September quarter.

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