Plaza Centres plc - Interim Results

Plaza Centres plc published its 2007 Interim Results following a Board of Directors meeting held on 3 August 2007. Similar to last year no interim dividend was declared.

During the first half of 2007, the total revenue generated by Plaza Centres amounted to Lm339,522, an 8.5% rise from the previous comparative period as occupancy levels remained at 100%.

Total operating expenses incorporating marketing costs, maintenance costs and administrative expenses edged 2.3% higher to Lm51,226.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) during the period under review increased by 9.6% to Lm288,296. The charge for depreciation during the first half of 2007 was slightly higher at Lm59,908 resulting in an operating profit of Lm228,388 (June 2006: Lm204,310). The operating profit margin increased to a record 67.3%.

Net interest receivable increased to Lm10,529 resulting in a pre-tax profit of Lm238,917. After deducting the tax expense of Lm79,847, the profit for the first half of 2007 amounted to Lm159,070, 19.3% higher than the profit achieved in the first six months of last year.

The Company’s total assets as at 30 June 2007 amounted to Lm10.3 million with shareholders’ funds of Lm8 million resulting in a net asset value per share of Lm0.85. Plaza’s profitability ratios improved to record levels in the first half of the year following the strong rise in profitability. Annualised pre-tax return on equity (profit before tax divided by average equity) increased to 6% (June 2006: 5.7%) with annualised return on assets (profit before tax divided by average assets) rising to 4.7% from 4.3% in June 2006.

In the half-yearly report, the Directors reported that over the past few months the Company commenced works on the extension of the commercial centre which should be completed by early 2008. After acquiring a number of adjacent properties in recent years, the extension to the Plaza Commercial Centre will increase the rentable area by 20% to 12,000m2. This should lead to an immediate positive impact on the Company’s financial performance and increased dividends to shareholders.

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