ONLINE training college Hibernia netted a pre-tax profit of €612,000 in the year to the end of January 2010, up nearly 20pc over the previous year.
Gross profits last year were close to €4m, according to accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office.
The 10-year-old business supplies approved, online courses aimed at graduates across a range of sectors, but is best known for teacher-training courses aimed at career changers going back to teaching.
Since 2003, privately owned Hibernia has emerged as the biggest trainer of primary school teachers qualified to teach in Ireland. It runs secondary school teaching courses approved by the UK authorities and a number of science modules.
Fees for online tuition range from €99 for short courses aimed at teachers, and €8,950 for a two-year teacher training qualification, up to €17,000 for a two-year masters degree in pharmaceutical medicine.
Growing profits in the recession is evidence of the number of people pursuing qualifications since the downturn.
Graduates from a wide number of disciplines have used the online courses to enter into the traditionally secure teaching profession.
Hibernia was established back in 2000 by former Harvard academic Sean Rowland who owns a 56pc share of the company. Former head of Trinity College Dublin Thomas Mitchell is a director.
Staff costs increased from €2.9m to €3.6m per year over the same period.