On 6 December, MaltaPost plc published its preliminary full-year results for the financial year ended 30 September 2016.
During the financial year under review, MaltaPost registered an 8.6% increase in turnover to a record €27.9 million largely due to the continued growth in activities related to e-commerce. The postal operator also reported a healthy increase in revenue from financial services, retail operations and document management services. On the other hand, the Company, once again, reported a further decline in traditional mail volumes.
Operational expenses increased by 12.8% to €24.3 million primarily as a result of an increase in direct mail costs and staff related expenses. Furthermore, it is important to highlight that during the comparable period ended 30 September 2015, MaltaPost had written-back some one-off expenses which were not repeated during the period under review.
As a result, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) declined by 13.1% to nearly €3.62 million. After accounting for a deprecation charge of €0.85 million (-11.6%), the Company’s operating profit amounted to €2.77 million – representing a 13.6% drop over the previous comparable figure.
Likewise, after taking into consideration a marginal net interest income of €0.17 million, MaltaPost’s pre-tax profits fell by 13.3% to €2.93 million (FY2015: €3.38 million). The tax charge for the year amounted to €0.87 million, which is notably lower than the €1.19 million charge in the previous financial period. Accordingly, post-tax profits eased by 5.8% to €2.06 million. This translates into an earnings per share of € 0.0562 (FY2015: €0.0609).
The Statement of Financial Position shows a 3.4% increase in total assets to €36.3 million reflecting additions to property, plant and equipment (+3.4% to €13.8 million), available-for-sale financial assets (+9.9% to €4.2 million), and the cash balance (+25.6% to €8.8 million). On the other hand, total liabilities decreased by 4.3% to €14.1 million largely reflecting the 5.1% drop in trade and other payables to €11.4 million. Overall, the Company’s equity base expanded by 9.0% to €22.2 million which translates into a net asset value per share of €0.601 (Sept 2015: €0.561).
The Directors recommended an unchanged final net dividend of €0.04 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on Friday 23 December 2016. The dividend will be paid on 27 February 2017 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 27 January 2017.
Once again, the Directors are giving shareholders the option to receive the dividend either in cash or by the issue of new shares at the attribution price of €1.85 per share.
Looking ahead, the Directors noted that MaltaPost will continue implementing its strategy of generating revenue in new growth areas, including logistics and related support services as well as financial services, to mitigate the impact of declining letter mail volumes. In this respect, the Directors reiterated that the unavoidable decline in traditional letter mail volumes and the resultant financial burden of the Universal Service Obligations remain a core issue for the Company and once again called for a regulatory model that effectively supports the future sustainability of the Universal Service.
The Directors also noted that the Company will continue investing in its infrastructure, including the strengthening of its retail branch network, and processes so as to ensure commercial and operational efficiencies that meet service level expectations and supports the growth in e-commerce business.