UPDATE 1-Australia's 3P Learning slumps on market debut

Tue Jul 8, 2014 10:50pm EDT

(Adds details on initial public offering, prospectus)

SYDNEY, July 9 (Reuters) - Shares of Australia's 3P Learning Ltd, the home of children's online education game "Mathletics", fell as much as 14 percent on their market debut as investors deemed the company's A$282.7 million ($266 million) listing too expensive.

Australian companies are rushing to sell shares in initial public offerings in what is likely to be the country's biggest year of new listings in a quarter of a century. But several listings have been cancelled or delayed amid investor concerns that some companies are asking too high a price for their stock amid the IPO fever.

3P Learning shares opened at A$2.39 at 0200 GMT, 4.4 percent below their A$2.50 issue price, before sliding to as low as A$2.15. The overall Sydney market was down 1 percent.

In its prospectus, 3P Learning said it hopes to benefit from a surge in the global online teaching market for children to $69 billion by 2017 from $16.6 billion in 2012.

However, the company said in its prospectus it expects net profit in 2015 to fall to A$2.3 million for the 2015 financial year, from A$5.9 million in 2014, as the company incurs a range of additional expenses, including IPO costs.

The company's flagship "Mathletics" game provides 79 percent of its revenue, with 3.2 million licences for the game in Australia, New Zealand and Britain, and sales via distributors in the United States.

($1 = 1.0632 Australian Dollars)

(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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