On Tuesday 30 March, the Board of Directors of Maltacom plc announced the Group results for the year ended 31 December 2003 and declared a net interim dividend of 1.2c to all shareholders on the Company’s register as at close of trading on 8 April 2004. It also proposed a final net dividend of 3c7 per share (2002: 3c7) to all shareholders on the register of members as at close of trading on 21 April 2004. The total gross dividend amounts to 6c65 per share (2002: 5c11).
Group turnover during the year amounted to Lm55.2 million, 1.1% higher than the revenue generated in 2002. Cost of sales dropped by 1.1% to Lm28.9 million, resulting in a gross margin of Lm26.2 million (2002: Lm25.3 million). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by Lm3.2 million (14.6%) to Lm24.9 million. This translates into an EBITDA margin of 45.2% (2002: 39.9%). Administrative and distribution expenses decreased by 11.7% to Lm9.9 million resulting in an operating profit before exceptional items of Lm15.3 million, 11.8% higher than the operating profit before exceptional items in 2002.
The exceptional items had a big impact on Maltacom’s profitability this year. The exceptional gain of Lm6.5 million comprises the profit on the disposal of the sale of shares in Vodafone Malta Ltd. and Inmarsat Ventures plc of Lm10.44 million less VAT in dispute of Lm2.5 and an adjustment for the impairment of tangible fixed assets of Lm1.49 million.
Maltacom’s operating profit for the twelve months ended 31 December 2003 amounted to Lm21.7 million (2002: Lm14.3 million), with profit before tax of Lm20.6 million and after accounting for taxation, profit for the 2003 amounted to Lm13.1 million (2002: Lm9.6 million). The Group’s earnings per share including the exceptional items increased by 35.8% to 12c9 per share. Excluding the exceptional items Group earnings per share amounted to 8c9 (2002: 9c).
Total assets as at 31 December 2003 stood at Lm129.8 million with shareholders' funds at Lm77.9 million, resulting in a book value per share of 76.9 cents. Maltacom's net debt decreased from Lm30.2 million in December 2002 to Lm11.7 million as at 31 December 2003. The gearing ratio is now at 15% (2002: 44%).