(Recasts on Trump feedback, updates shares)

By Colin Packham and Tom Westbrook

SYDNEY Jan 31 Australia’s largest listed non-public educator Navitas Ltd on Tuesday blamed U.S. politics for a downturn in inquiries about English lessons within the United States, as a decline in half-yearly earnings despatched its shares to a one-year low.

Navitas Chief Executive Officer Rod Jones stated the corporate had already began to really feel the influence of U.S. President Donald Trump’s short-term journey restrictions focusing on seven Muslim-majority nations.

“We have started to see students back off from the U.S. because of their concerns about potential issues they may face,” Jones instructed an analyst name.

“But they still want to go somewhere,” he added, saying Australia and Canada have been “key markets going forward”.

“The Canadian prime minister has come out and said ‘if the U.S. doesn’t want you, we’d love to have you’, and I think it is the approach of Australia too.”

Pre-tax earnings for Asia’s eighth-biggest schooling firm fell eight % to A$76.6 million ($58 million) for the six months to Dec. 31, assembly analyst expectations however marred by a 12 % hunch in gross sales from its most important enterprise unit.

Shares within the A$1.7 billion firm fell 6.4 % by mid-afternoon, hitting their lowest intraday stage since January 2016, whereas the general sharemarket dipped 1 %.

With operations in Australia, North America and Britain, Navitas’s most important enterprise is working English proficiency and pre-university programs for overseas college students. Its worldwide footprint makes it weak to modifications in scholar visa rules and foreign money volatility.

Navitas stated elements which hit income included migration restrictions in Britain, opposed foreign money change charges and a fall in Australian enrolments due to two school closures.

Net revenue rose 18.eight %, principally boosted by the partial sale of a school in Perth. Navitas introduced an interim dividend of 9.4 cents, from 9.6 cents beforehand.

Trump’s directive on Friday put a 120-day maintain on permitting refugees into the nation, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on residents from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The White House says the restrictions will shield Americans from terrorism, though critics argue it illegally singles out Muslims.

($1 = 1.3236 Australian ) (Editing by Byron Kaye and Stephen Coates)

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