RIO DE JANEIRO, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Estacio Participacoes S.A. – "Estacio" or "the Company" (BM&FBovespa: ESTC3; Bloomberg: ESTC3.BZ; Reuters: ESTC3.SA; OTC: ECPCY), one of the largest private institutions of higher learning in Brazil in terms of the number of students matriculated, is reporting its results for the fourth quarter of 2012 and for the year 2012 (4Q12 and 2012) in comparison with the same period of the previous year (4Q11 and 2011). Estacio ended 2012 with a base total of 271,500 undergrad and graduate students, 13.1% above what was recorded in 2011, of whom 222,600 were matriculated for on campus programs of study, and 48,900 for distance learning courses. Disregarding acquisitions made in 2012, the student base organically grew by 9.5% compared to the same period of the previous year. At the end of 2012, the base of on campus undergrad students at Estacio totaled 209,900 students, 10.5% more than the same period of the previous year. For distance learning (DL) the undergrad student base grew by 22.9% over the same period of the previous year to a total of 46,100 students. It should be underscored that post-graduate DL students resumed growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, with an increase of 47.4% compared to the same period of the previous year. Net operating earnings came to R$1,383,300 in 2012, an increase of 20.5% in relation to 2011, due to the growth of 13.1% in the student base and the positive development of the average ticket for the period. In 2012, EBITDA added up to R$209.9, 70.7% more than 2011, with an EBITDA margin of 15.2%, for a margin gain of 4.5 percentage points compared to the year before, chiefly as a result of better management of costs and expenses and a 20.5% growth in net revenues. The provision for doubtful creditors accounted for 5.8% of net revenues, reflecting a scenario of lower payment delinquency in the first half of 2012 as compared to 2011.