Bank of Valletta plc - Full-Year Results & Dividends

During the twelve months ended 30 September 2005, the BOV Group generated Lm44.6 million in net interest income, representing a 9% increase over the Lm40.9 million during the same period last year. This improvement came about through a reduction in the cost of funds. The net interest margin improved from 47.9% to 50.1%.
Non-interest income increased by Lm1.4 million (6.9%) to Lm21.9 million resulting in total operating income of Lm66.5 million, 8.2% above the total income generated during the year ended 30 September 2004.

Non-interest expenses, comprising administrative expenses and depreciation charges totalled Lm30.7 million, 4.3% higher than the expenditure incurred in 2004.

The charge for net impairment allowances amounted to Lm11.7 million, a slight decrease of Lm1.7 million over the allowance taken in September 2004. The charge for 2005 comprises a specific impairment charge of Lm6.6 million (2004: Lm17.2 million) and a charge for collective impairment of Lm5.1 million (2004: write back of Lm3.8 million).

Share of profits from associated companies, which include Middlesea Insurance plc and Middlesea Valletta Life Assurance Co. Ltd., increased from Lm1.4 million to Lm2.5 million representing an increase of 78.6%.

The cost to income ratio improved from 47.4% in September 2004 to 44.5%.

Group profit before tax increased by 35.4% (Lm7 million) to Lm26.6 million. After accounting for taxation and minority interests, Group profit attributable to shareholders amounted to Lm17.8 million, 42.5% up from the Lm12.5 million of September 2004. Earnings per share increased from 22c6 in September 2004 to 32c2.

The Board of Directors is recommending to shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting a gross final dividend of 15c per share (9c75 net of tax). Together with the interim dividend of 7c5 per share paid in May 2005, the total dividend for the year works out at 22c5 per share (14c63 net). All shareholders on the company’s register as at close of trading next Friday 4 November will be entitled to attend the AGM and receive this final dividend, which is expected be paid on 17 December 2005. The shares begin trading XD as from Monday 7 November 2005. In addition, the Board of Directors will be recommending a one for one bonus share issue to registered members as at the close of trading on 18 January 2006.

The balance sheet as at the end of September 2005 shows Group total assets of Lm2,114 million. Customer deposits increased by 3.5% to Lm1,510 million. Net advances to customers decreased marginally by 0.1% to Lm837.6 million. Shareholders funds increased by 9.78% to Lm145.8 million, resulting in a net asset value per share of 263c.