MaltaPost drops 4% after profit warning

The share price of MaltaPost plc slumped 4% during this morning’s trading session to the €0.95 level across three trades totalling 10,408 shares. Today’s downturn follows  the interim statement published yesterday by MaltaPost which revealed the expectation by the Directors of a reduction in profitability for the first half of the year to 31 March 2012. During the first half of the previous year, MaltaPost generated a pre-tax profit of €1.1 million. The lower level of profits reflects the general challenging economic environment, the incidence of higher operating costs and the ‘local letter post’ business which remains loss-making since the postage rates are still not commercially viable.

The two other active equities closed unchanged during this morning’s uneventful trading session in which the lowest level of activity took place since the start of the year. HSBC Bank Malta plc continued to trade at the €2.55 level on low volumes of 400 shares whilst a single trade of 4,000 FIMBank plc shares was transacted at the US$0.75 level.

MaltaPost’s 4% drop resulted in a further 0.1% decline in the MSE Share Index to yet another new 31-month low of 2,986.885 points.

Shortly after the close of today’s trading session, Crimsonwing plc published its Interim Directors’ Statement giving an overview of the current financial year ending 31 March 2012. The Directors expect Crimsonwing’s net overall position for the current financial year to be in line with that of the previous year when the Group registered a loss of €109,135 mainly due to the losses incurred at Crimsonwing NL (VDA) business unit following the extensive one-off restructuring costs incurred. Nonetheless, the Directors explained that following the investments undertaken this year to enhance the Group’s capabilities, the Crimsonwing Group is now able to participate in large bids with international clients which, although initially impact operational profitability, have great potential rewards. Crimsonwing also revealed that it was selected as a strategic partner by an international multi-channel retailer for a global eCommerce roll-out across over 50 countries by 2013 and this could result in Crimsonwing implementing over 100 eCommerce sites from mid-2012 onwards and subsequently supporting these businesses.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index closed in positive territory for the fourth consecutive session with a further 0.1% rise to 989.168 points. Today’s upturn is in line with the decline in benchmark Eurozone yields as the next bailout of Greece is delayed. The price of the longest-dated MGS (the 5.20% MGS 2031) increased to 102.65%.