GO up 6.9% on reinstatement of dividend

The share price of GO plc was the star performer during this morning’s session as it jumped 6.9% to a new 2-year high of €1.54 on high volumes of 108,866 shares after yesterday’s results announcement revealed that the Group returned to a profitable position and reinstated its dividend. GO reported a pre-tax profit of €26.5 million compared to a loss of €51 million in 2011. Although operationally the Group registered unchanged normalised earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €51.3 million, the Group’s results were boosted by a one-off gain of €11.4 million relating to the exchanges of properties with the Government of Malta. Moreover, the €5 million provisions in connection with pensions and voluntary retirement schemes as well as the €62.3 million in impairments on the Group’s investment in Forthnet in 2011 only amounted to €3.87 million in 2012. GO recommended a final net dividend of €0.10 per share to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 2 April which presumably fuelled this morning’s upturn.

The equity of International Hotel Investments plc also moved 5.2% higher to regain the €0.79 level across five trades totalling 35,877 shares. Similarly, Bank of Valletta plc edged 1.2% higher to close at the €2.297 level across six trades totalling 4,300 shares.

Meanwhile all other active equities ended the session unchanged. A single deal of 2,500 MIDI plc shares was transacted at the €0.314 level, unchanged from the previous close, in anticipation of the Company’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) scheduled to be held tomorrow seeking shareholder approval on the proposed sale of ‘The Point’ shopping mall.

Malta International Airport plc also maintained the €1.82 level despite revealing a record net profit of €12.5 million for the financial year ended 31 December 2012. The improvement in profitability was due to a 0.7% increase in revenue to €52.8 million on the back of record passenger numbers as well as a 1.6% drop in operating expenses to €32.1 million which helped offset the higher interest costs following the inauguration of the SkyParks Business Centre. MIA recommended the payment of a final net dividend of €0.04 per share.

The only other active equity was Crimsonwing plc as 40,000 shares changed hands at the €0.54 level.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved higher for the fourth consecutive session with a further 0.1% increase to yet another 29-month high of 1,014.439 points as Eurozone yields remained under pressure amid the uncertainty surrounding the bailout of Cyprus. Most long-term MGS prices rallied to new highs today.