On 8 May, MaltaPost plc published its interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2012. MaltaPost generated €11 million in revenue representing a 3.1% increase over the previous comparable figure on the back of an increase in the weight of cross border traffic as well as a rise in non-postal revenue which offset the continued decline in traditional mail volumes. The announcement further explained that the revenue from cross border traffic increased despite the changes in the tariff structure as regulated by the Universal Postal Union (UPU). In this respect, the Company is closely working with its regulator, the Malta Communications Authority, to ensure a fair regulatory approach which is appropriate and relevant to the challenging and dynamic competitive market in which it operates.
This change in tariffs by the UPU also resulted in a considerable increase in direct mail costs which led to a 22.6% increase in other expenses to €4.4 million. Moreover, the postal operator reported a 2.3% increase in it wage bill to €5.3 million as well as a 33% increase in depreciation to €0.58 million following the acquisition of the Company’s Head Office in Marsa and other ‘strategically located properties’.
All of the above resulted in an operating profit of €0.76 million significantly lower than the €1.5 million reported in respect of the six months ended 31 March 2011.
Net finance income also dropped substantially to €36,000 (March 2011: €185,000) reflecting lower income from sale of investments as well as the increased interest costs arising from the debt used to finance part of the acquisition of the properties.
This resulted in a pre-tax profit of just under €0.8 million significantly below the €1.7 million profit registered during the six months ended 31 March 2011. After accounting for a lower tax expense of €0.29 million, the Company’s profit for the period under review amounted to €0.5 million (March 2011: €1.1 million) which translates into an earnings per share of €0.02 (March 2011: €0.04).
In conclusion, the Directors explained that despite the challenges being faced by the postal market operator, they are confident that the Company has the necessary resources to provide the best possible range of services to the community whilst continuing to deliver a fair return to its shareholders.
Download a copy of the MaltaPost plc Interim Report as at 31 March 2012.