Plaza Centres plc - Full-Year Results & Dividends

The Board of Directors of Plaza Centres p.l.c. today announced the Preliminary Statement of Results for the year ended 31 December 2004.

Turnover of Plaza Centres increased by 6.4% during 2004 to Lm617,936 as occupancy within the complex remained high at 98%. With administrative expenses decreasing by 15.1% and the charge for depreciation down 9.7%, the company’s operating profit increased by 11.7% to Lm397,638. It is worth noting that in 2003 there was a one-time profit on the disposal of property amounting to Lm26,330.

In contrast to prior year’s net interest charges, during the year the company earned interest of Lm21,061 which further helped to increase profitability. Plaza’s profit before tax for the year ended 31 December 2004 increased by 19.7% to Lm418,699. Profit after tax amounted to Lm264,964, which translates into earnings per share of 2c81 compared to 2c34 in 2003.

The Directors have proposed a gross dividend of 4c09 per share (2003: 3c6), which results in a net dividend of 2c66 per share resulting in a total distribution of Lm250,412, an increase of 13.5% over last year’s distribution. The dividend cover works out at 1.06 times. This dividend will be paid to all shareholders who appear on the share register as at close of trading on 24 March 2005. The Annual General Meeting is scheduled to take place on 26 April 2005 and if approved, the dividend will be paid on 29 April 2005.

Shareholders’ funds of Lm7.1 million as at the end of December 2004 translate into a book value per share of 75c5. The equity is currently trading at a 15% discount to net asset value. The Directors noted that work on the first wing of the planned extension is expected to commence in the second half of 2005.