Sylvan Learning Announces Record Franchise Sales Over Past Two Years; Meets 2009 Goal of Converting Corporate Centers to Franchise Ownership

North America's Most Recognized Provider of Supplemental Education Also Reports 50 Percent Growth in International Franchise Development

BALTIMORE // PRNewswire // -- Sylvan Learning, Inc., North America's most recognized provider of supplemental education, announced today record franchise sales growth over the past two years. Sylvan's 2009 franchise sales year was only second to 2008, which experienced 150 percent growth. In addition, 2009 marked the brand's best international franchise sales year in at least a decade.

Since Jan. 1, 2008, Sylvan Learning has sold 145 domestic franchise territories, including the conversions of over 100 corporate centers to franchise ownership. The conversions in 2009 met the company's goal of refranchising 40 centers. Franchisees purchased centers and new territories in cities throughout Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

"We are very pleased with the franchise sales growth Sylvan has experienced over the past two years. It is quite an accomplishment given the challenging economy and circumstances many companies have faced," said Curt Hapward, Sylvan Learning's vice president of franchising. "The sales results are a true testament to the strength of the Sylvan Learning brand and the confidence both franchisees and the families they serve have in us as the leading provider of supplemental education."

In 2009, Sylvan Learning also experienced significant franchise growth internationally. Franchised centers outside of the U.S. and Canada grew by 50 percent over the two-year period, and Sylvan Learning expects additional international center and territory growth in 2010. Currently, Sylvan Learning has centers either operating or soon-to-be-opened in the Bahamas, Bahrain, Cayman Islands, Egypt, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

"We continue to be encouraged by the increases in Sylvan Learning's franchise sales both internationally and domestically," said Hapward. "Education is still a priority to families despite the current economic challenges, and entrepreneurs are looking for new career opportunities that deliver significant personal and professional satisfaction few other occupations can offer."

Sylvan Learning currently operates approximately 1,000 centers worldwide in 49 states and six provinces in Canada, as well as 10 countries. With considerable franchise sales growth in many parts of the country over the past two years, Sylvan Learning will continue to expand in select U.S. and international markets in 2010. To fuel this growth, Sylvan Learning seeks qualified franchisees who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, have a passion for the communities they will serve, and are interested in helping children develop the skills, habits and attitudes that lead to lifelong success.

Sylvan has served more than two million students since 1979. Most recently, Sylvan Learning moved up to number 44 in Entrepreneur magazine's 2010 "Franchise 500 Ranking" and has been ranked 25 times by the industry's premier franchise ranking. In 2009, Sylvan Learning was ranked number 67 in Franchise Times magazine's "Top 200 Systems" based on total number of units. In addition, Sylvan was named one of the "25 Top Franchises for Hispanic American ownership" by Poder Enterprise magazine, and was ranked in Bond's "Top 100 Franchises."

Entrepreneurs interested in exploring opportunities in supplemental education franchising may contact Curt Hapward, Sylvan Learning's vice president for franchising, at 800-627-4276, ext. 8242.

About Sylvan Learning

Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of in-center, online and at home tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels. With 30 years of experience and approximately 1,000 centers located throughout North America and abroad, Sylvan's proven process and personalized instructional methods have inspired more than two million students to discover the joy of learning. Sylvan's trained and certified instructors provide individual instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills and test-prep for college entrance and state exams. Sylvan helps transform kids into inspired learners with the skills to do better in school and the confidence to do better in everything else.

SOURCE Sylvan Learning, Inc

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