The share price of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc advanced by 2.8% today to close at the €1.82 level in response to the record financial results published yesterday afternoon. The Farsons Group generated a 6% rise in revenue to a record €70.85 million and operating profit increased by 1.5% to just below €6.4 million. Profits after tax jumped by 25% to €4.7 million due to the non-recurrence of a write-off in relation to a terminated property lease incurred during the financial year ended 31 January 2011. As a result of the improved profitability, the Directors proposed a final net dividend of €0.0567 per share (up 6.3% from the previous year’s final dividend) to all shareholders as at close of trading on 17 May. Combined with the net interim dividend of €0.01333 per share paid on 21 October 2011, the total net dividend in respect of the financial year ended 31 January 2012 amounts to a record €0.07 per share. Lowest offers in the market are now placed at €1.83 with outstanding bids at the €1.80 level.
The rest of the equity market was characterised by low volumes following the high activity in the shares of the two major banks yesterday. The share price of Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.5% higher to €2.11 on minimal activity of 2,000 shares with further bids remaining unsatisfied at this level and lowest offers at €2.19. On the other hand, no trades took place in HSBC Bank Malta plc shares following yesterday’s 0.8% rise to the €2.52 level across two trades amounting to 28,900 shares. BOV is scheduled to announce its interim results tomorrow afternoon.
Elsewhere, the equity of Middlesea Insurance plc shed 1.4% to €0.69 while the sterling denominated equity of 6pm Holdings plc advanced by 3% to GBP0.35 recovering the drop earlier this week. The only other active equity was GO plc which maintained its all-time low of €0.75.
On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased minimally lower to 985.866 points as the longer-term Malta Government Stock prices dropped despite a decline in Eurozone yields back below the 1.70% level.