Following the strong selling pressure evident since the start of the year in the share price of GO plc mainly as a result of the 50% reduction in dividends, GO’s equity edged higher for the second consecutive session. The share price advanced by 3.1% during this morning’s session to €1.34 but activity was weak with only 2,365 shares changing hands. Last week the quad play telecom operator issued its Interim Statement revealing positive trends in overall turnover during the first quarter of 2011 despite the declining income from fixed-line and mobile services which are experiencing declining ARPU (average rate per usage) levels on the back of increased competition. The Group positively announced that the operating profit for the first quarter of 2011 is marginally ahead of that registered during the same period in 2010 whilst maintaining a healthy cash position. Nonetheless, the Group did not give any indication with respect to the financial performance and position of the Greek telecoms operator, Forthnet.
Bank of Valletta plc also saw its share price edge 0.4% higher to close at the €2.82 level across ten trades totalling just over 13,000 shares. Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc was inactive today with bids in the market at the last closing price of €2.94 and lowest offers placed at the €3.00 level.
FIMBank plc’s US Dollar denominated equity closed unchanged at the US$0.84 level on significant volumes totalling 150,000 shares. Shareholders have until 30 June to submit their acceptance form with respect to the ‘share-for-share exchange’, details of which can be found on the Prospectus issued by FIMHoldings plc.
The only other active equity, Malta International Airport plc also closed unchanged at the €1.68 level across six trades totalling 12,370 shares. The airport operator is scheduled to pay the final net dividend of €0.035 per share on 17 May.
This afternoon, MaltaPost plc published its half-year results covering the six months ended 31 March 2011. During the period under review, the postal operator reported a 1.4% increase in revenue to €10.7 million mainly due to the continued growth in the number of “packets” emanating from increased internet shopping. However most of this growth was offset by the 9.2% increase in other operating costs to €3.7 million on the back of higher mail costs, utility bills and Information Systems support costs. As a result, MaltaPost reported a net profit of €1.1 million, marginally below the €1.2 million registered in the previous comparable period. In conclusion the Directors stated that the Company is expected to recoup from the lower first half performance during the coming months.