Maltacom plc published its Preliminary Statement of Results for the year ended 31 December 2006 following a Board of Directors’ meeting held on 2 April 2007. The Directors proposed a net dividend of 5c per share for approval at the Annual General Meeting which is due to be held on 30 May 2007. The dividend is payable to those shareholders as at close of trading on Wednesday 25 April for settlement on Monday 30 April 2007.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) excluding the one-off items mainly relating to the voluntary retirement scheme amounted to Lm23.4 million, representing a marginal 2% drop from the Lm23.9 million in 2005 with the EBITDA margin dipping to 42.2% from 43.4% in 2005. Administrative and distribution expenses increased by 10.8% to Lm12.5 million. Other operating income was largely unchanged at Lm0.7 million whilst other operating charges dropped to Lm0.25 million from Lm0.4 million in 2005. The Group operating profit before exceptional items and net financing income amounted to Lm14.8 million, representing a decline of 4.8% from the Lm15.6 million of 2005. Costs related to the voluntary early retirement scheme amounted to Lm3.2 million resulting in an operating profit of Lm11.7 million. During 2006, net financial income increased to Lm0.44 million mainly due to lower finance expenses reflecting the continued drop in the outstanding level of borrowings.
The Group’s profit before tax during 2006 amounted to Lm12.1 million, 24.8% below the level in the previous year primarily as a result of the one-time voluntary retirement costs. After accounting for taxation of Lm3.9 million, the profit for the period amounts to Lm8.1 million resulting in an earnings per share of 8c (2005: 11c1).
Total assets as at 31 December 2006 increased marginally over the previous year to Lm116.6 million with financial investments of Lm13.7 million and cash balances increasing to Lm16.7 million from Lm12.4 million as at 31 December 2005. Meanwhile, on the liabilities side, the Group’s total debt dropped by 21% from Lm12.8 million in December 2005 to Lm10.2 million. Shareholders’ funds of Lm88.9 million translate into a net asset value per share of Lm0.88.
The Maltacom Group is in an enviable financial position with cash holdings of Lm16.7 million exceeding the total debt of Lm10.2 million. Moreover, if one were to take account of the financial investments amounting to a significant Lm13.7 million, the Group has net cash of Lm20.2 million.
Maltacom paid an interim dividend in October 2006 amounting to 1c5 net per share (2c31 gross of 35% tax). Together with the proposed final dividend of 5c net per share (7c69 gross of 35% tax), the total dividend in respect of the 2006 financial year amounts to 10c gross per share (6c5 net of tax). Given the drop in profits attributable to shareholders, the payout ratio increased to 81% (2005: 58.7%). The total gross dividend of 10c per share translates into a gross yield of 6.9% per annum at today’s share price of Lm1.45 per share.