On 5 August, Malita Investments plc published its interim results covering the first six months of 2016.
During the period under review, the Company registered a marginal 0.4% increase in revenue to €3.46 million as the Company continues to receive income from its ground rents of Malta International Airport and Valletta Cruise Port as well as income relating to the Parliament Building and Open Air Theatre. The Parliament Building was officially inaugurated in May 2015 and the Company is currently waiting for the completion certificate to be issued. Administrative expenses also increased by 29% to €0.24 million.
The Company’s financials were also boosted by a €2.3 million (H1 2015: €8.1 million) uplift in the fair value of investment property (namely the MIA and VCP sites). The improvement in the fair value reflects the higher present value attributable to the cash flows receivable by the Company in relation to these sites following the further declines, albeit at a slower pace, in interest rates on Malta Government Stocks which are used as the benchmark.
As a result, the Company’s operating profit contracted by 51% to €5.6 million. After accounting for an unchanged net interest expense of €0.65 million, the Company’s profit before tax for the period under review amounted to €4.91 million representing a 54.1% decrease from the previous period’s comparable largely solely due to the aforementioned variations in the fair value uplifts of the Group’s investment property.
Malita also accounted for a tax expense of €0.98 million compared to a tax credit of €0.79 million (largely related to a one-off adjustment in line with the provisions of new taxation rules on capital gains generated upon the transfer of immovable property) in the first half of 2015. Overall, Malita reported a 65.7% decline in net profits to €3.9 million which translated into an earnings per share of €0.0266 (H1 2015: €0.0775).
The Statement of Financial Position, compared to the figures as at 31 December 2015, shows a 1.2% increase in total assets to €156.3 million largely reflecting the aforementioned uplift in the fair value of the Company’s investment property which also offset the 11.3% drop in the Company’s cash balance to €4.02 million. Meanwhile, total liabilities were relatively unchanged at €46.2 million. Overall, the Company’s equity base expanded by 1.68% to €110.1 million on the back of the profit generated during the period under review which outweighed the final dividend distribution with respect to the 2015 financial year. This translates into a net asset value per share of €0.743 (December 2015: €0.7309).
The Directors declared a gross interim dividend of €0.0128 (net: €0.00832) to all shareholders (both ‘A’ and ‘B’ shareholders) as at the close of trading on Thursday 4 August 2016. The dividend will be paid on Friday 9 September.
Last year, the Company had paid out a gross interim dividend of €0.0144 (net: €0.00936).
Looking ahead, the Directors noted that a number of potential projects, including ones with a mix of public/private participation, are still being considered and evaluated.