Malta Properties Company sees 20% increase in profit after tax

Mediterranean ObserverFebruary 20, 20218min1315
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The MSE Equity Price Index slid by a further 0.34% to 3,844.256 points on Thursday. The declines in BOV, GO, MIA and MIDI outweighed gains in RS2, PG, Medserv and Malita whilst Mapfre ended the day unchanged.

GO plc dropped by just over 3% to an 11-week low at the €3.20 level on weak volumes of 1,366 shares. GO will be publishing its annual financial statements on 11 March.

Similarly, Bank of Valletta plc fell by 1.7% to a 3½ month low at the €0.90 level across 34,640 shares whilst its insurance subsidiary, Mapfre Middlesea plc, traded unchanged at the €2.24 level across a single deal of 1,552 shares.

Malta International Airport plc shed 1.7% as it dropped to a near 3-month low at the €5.95 level across 8,699 shares. On Wednesday, MIA published its annual report and financial statements for 2020.

As a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, the airport operator suffered a drop of 76.1% in passenger traffic which subsequently led to a €68 million decrease in revenue.

Overall, the airport operator reported a net loss for the year of €4.63 million when compared to a record profit after tax of €33.9 million in 2019. Looking ahead, management explained that the return to pre-Covid levels will be characterised by gradual strategic investments and sustainable network developments as well as positioning the company in a way whereby it can swing into action as soon as air travel shows signs of a recovery.

The company also reiterated that over the coming year, it will continue to lay out the groundwork for long-term investments, including the new business center and hotel project SkyParks 2 and the construction of a new parking stand (‘Apron X’) and supporting facilities. The company noted that it is not recommending a dividend payment for the financial year 2020 given the performance in 2020 and the limited visibility of the way ahead. Meanwhile, MIA’s Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday 5 May 2021.

Elsewhere, MIDI plc lost nearly 2.8% as it closed at the €0.42 level across a single trade of 5,000 shares.

Medserv plc jumped by 8.6% to the €0.63 level as 2,000 shares changed hands.

Meanwhile, Malita Investments plc gained 1.1% to the €0.89 level across 4,600 shares. Malita announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday 11 March 2021 to consider and approve the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020. The Board will also be considering the recommendation of a dividend.

PG plc recaptured the €2.04 level as it rose by 2% across 4,900 shares.

A single trade of trivial volumes lifted RS2 Software plc 2.8% higher as it recaptured the €1.81 level. On Tuesday, RS2 published a prospectus announcing the issuance of up to 28,571,400 preference shares at an offer price of €1.75 per preference share to be admitted to the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange. The net proceeds from the offer of sale of the new preference shares (estimated at approximately €49 million) will enable RS2 to position itself as a fully integrated payment service provider reflecting the robust foundations from the market side as well as the demand from the current client base to serve as an impetus for future growth.

On Thursday, Malta Properties Company plc published its annual report and Financial Statements for 2020. During 2020, revenues increased marginally to €3.44 million (2019: €3.43 million) as the initial four-month contribution from the lease of the HSBC Contact Centre located in Swatar, as well as the inflationary-induced adjustments to existing lease agreements, slightly offset the loss in income from the St George’s Exchange (which has now been vacated prior to its sale scheduled for H2 2021) and the St Paul’s Bay Exchange (sold in November 2019).

However, the financial performance of MPC was positively impacted by a fair value gain on investment property of €2.74 million compared to realised and unrealised gains amounting to €2 million in 2019. Overall, MPC reported a pre-tax profit of €4.33 million, representing an uplift of almost 20% when compared to the previous comparable period.

In their commentaries, the chairman and the CEO of MPC explained that given the company’s sound financial position, MPC is evaluating a number of new acquisition opportunities which have the potential to add significant value to shareholders.

The Board of Directors of MPC is recommending the payment of a net dividend of €0.012 per share (2019: €0.01 per share). Shareholders as at close of trading on 14 June 2021 will be entitled to receive this dividend on 21 July 2021 subject to shareholders’ approval during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held remotely on 15 July 2021.

The RF MGS Index climbed by 0.17% to 1,114.956 points. The sell-off in global bonds continued to deepen today as investors bet on a brighter outlook for the global economy and the risk that price pressures are approaching. In fact, the German 10-year Bund yield surged to an 11-month high whilst similar rises were recorded in the Italian, Spanish and US 10-year yields.

Yesterday, the Treasury announced that it received a total of 106 bids from institutional investors for the three new Malta Government Stocks for a value of €408.8 million (nominal).

The Treasury exercised its over-allotment option and allotted €300 million (nominal) in the three fixed rate stocks. The statistics published by the Treasury indicate that €146.6 million (nominal) were allotted in the 0.40% MGS 2027 (IV) at a weighted average price of 102.82% (YTM: -0.0188%); €77.4 million (nominal) in the 1.00% MGS 2035 (II) at a weighted average price of 102.05% (YTM: 0.8497%) and €82 million (nominal) in the 1.40% MGS 2046 (I) at a weighted average price of 103.00% (YTM: 1.2619%).

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