During the first nine months of 2003, the Maltacom Group achieved a turnover of Lm41.8 million, 3.4% above the revenue generated during the same nine months of 2002. Cost of sales decreased by 2.2% to Lm21.1 million, resulting in a gross margin of Lm20.7 million (2002: Lm18.9 million). Administrative and distribution expenses decreased by 12.3% to Lm7.7 million resulting in an operating profit before exceptional items of Lm12.6 million, 24.6% higher than the operating profit before exceptionals during the period January to September 2002. The exceptional items of Lm7.5 million include the profit on the disposal of the sale of shares in Vodafone Malta Ltd. of Lm9.9 million and VAT in dispute of Lm2.3 million.
Operating profit for the period January to September 2003 amounted to Lm20.2 million (2002: Lm10.3 million), with profit before tax of Lm19.4 million and after accounting for taxation, profit for the first nine months of 2003 amounted to Lm12.4 million (2002: Lm6.5 million).
Total assets as at 30 September 2003 stood at Lm134.5 million with shareholders' funds increasing to Lm77.3 million, resulting in a book value per share of 76.3 cents. Maltacom's net debt decreased from Lm31.4 million in September 2002 to Lm9 million as at 30 September 2003. The gearing ratio is now at 11.6% (September 2002: 47.9%).