GO plc - Interim Results

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

On 11 August, GO plc published its interim financial statements covering the six months ended 30 June 2015.

Performance Overview

GO reported a marginal decline in overall revenues during the first half of the year to €60.7 million (-0.1%), resulting from lower income from its wholesale telecommunications business (pursuant to regulatory decisions) which, however, was compensated by growth in its data offering services. The Directors explained that GO’s product offering continued to strengthen across its client base, which represents over 500,000 connections. The main growth area was the mobile arm following the various investments undertaken and the strong take-up of the Limitless mobile plans. In the next few months, GO will be launching 4G on a nationwide basis. Despite fierce competition GO also reported marginal growth in its Broadband and TV offerings. GO expects to connect more clients to its fibre network as Fibre To The Home extends to new localities across Malta.

Cost of sales declined by 5.2% despite an increase in costs directly related to sales activity. This resulted in an improved gross profit margin of 43.2% (1H2014: 40.1%). Meanwhile, administrative expenses also declined by 3.2% to €12.9 million pursuant to continued cost reductions in a number of areas.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) edged 4.9% higher to €25.5 million with an increase in the EBITDA margin to 42%. Operating profit before exceptional items improved  by 19.7% to €14.1 million.

During the first half of FY2015, exceptional items related to voluntary retirement costs stood at €0.4 million, down significantly from the €2.1 million in 1H2014.

After deducting net finance costs of €0.6 million (1H2014: €1.2 million), the pre-tax profit for the first six months of 2015 of €13 million represents an increase of 53% compared to €8.5 million during the first half of 2014. The tax charge for 1H2015 was €4.1 million (1H2014: €2.6 million), resulting in a net profit for the period of €8.9 million – an increase of 50.6% over the comparable period of last year.

GO’s asset base increased by 3.2% to €226.6 million, reflecting in the main increases in lending extended to an associate company – Cablenet, which by the end of June 2015 amounted to €9 million (reflected on the books at the fair value of €7.6 million since this is an interest-free loan). Net debt as at 30 June 2015 amounted to €43.5 million compared to €41.5 million in December 2014. Shareholders’ funds improved to €113.1 million translating into a net asset value per share of €1.12.

Dividend

For the eighth consecutive year, the Board of Directors resolved to determine the extent of a dividend distribution for 2015 on the basis of the full-year results. As such, no interim dividend was declared.

Outlook 

GO’s strategy continues to remain focused on four pillars: i) investment in technology; ii) investment in solutions, applications and processes to serve clients more efficiently and effectively; iii) investment in content; and iv) revamping offers to customers. During the first half of 2015, GO made significant investments in mobile internet through the testing of its 4G service offering and fibre technology which is being launched in other areas across Malta. In the business segment, GO retained its leading position in the market, providing unmatched infrastructure services to the business community.

Furthermore, GO has also undertaken the replacement of various core systems and applications in order to service its client base better and enhance the overall customer experience beyond the availability of a robust infrastructure.

Earlier on this year GO announced a reorganisation of the corporate structure which will result in the spin-off of its portfolio of immovable property to shareholders of GO  – read more on this announcement here.

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GO plc – Interim Financial Statements for the six months ended 30 June 2015.

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