On 22 February, Malta International Airport plc (MIA) published its annual financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016.
During the year under review, MIA registered a 9.1% increase in revenue to a record €73.1 million on the back of growth in both the ‘Airport’ segment as well as the ‘Retail and Property’ segment. On the aviation side, revenues grew by 10.9% to €51.5 million reflecting the record number of passenger movements of 5.08 million – the first time MIA exceeded the 5 million mark. As previously explained, the growth in passengers reflect the combined increase in seat capacity and seat load factor (further information available at https://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2017/2016-traffic-results-forecast-for-2017-mia1701/). This growth in passenger numbers did not only lead to an increase in aviation-related revenues but also led to an increase in retail sales (forming part of the ‘Retail and Property’ segment) across the concessionaires throughout the terminal. Furthermore, the Company reported growth in all other non-aviation revenue streams forming the ‘Retail and Property’ segment, including additional contributions from the VIP lounge, the SkyParks Business Centre and the parking facilities. The ‘Retail and Property’ segment registered a 6.1% increase in revenue to €21.2 million. Similar to last year, the ‘Airport’ segment contributed around 70% of the Group’s total revenue whilst the ‘Retail and Property’ segment accounted for almost 30% of total revenue.
Operating costs increased by 5.6% to €33.1 million mainly reflecting increases in a number of cost items including repairs and maintenance, marketing and communications, technical services, passenger security services, cleaning as well as legal and professional fees. It is also important to highlight that most of these increases are largely related to the aforementioned growth in passenger traffic.
Overall, MIA reported a 12.2% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to a record figure of just under €40 million. The EBITDA margin also climbed to a new all-time high of 54.7%.
The depreciation charge increased by 3.1% to €6.8 million largely reflecting the on-going investment undertaken in the airport’s infrastructure as well as plant and equipment.
On the other hand, net finance costs dropped by 24.9% to €0.97 million largely reflecting the reduction in the Group’s debt level as MIA repaid a further €10.75 million in bank loans.
It is also noteworthy to highlight that during 2015, the financial performance was boosted by a one-off gain on the disposal of the Company’s 10% stake in Valletta Cruise Port plc [VCP] (effective 2 November 2015) amounting to €1.86 million (this figure has been included in finance income in the financial statements of MIA). This gain was not repeated in 2016.
Nonetheless, MIA still reported a record pre-tax profit of €32.4 million representing an 8.7% rise over the previous year’s comparable figure. After accounting for a tax charge of €11.4 million (2015: €10.5 million), MIA’s net profit for the year under review amounted to a record €20.98 million representing an 8.9% increase over the previous year’s figure.
The Statement of Financial Position shows a 0.3% increase in total assets to €172.36 million as the 1.2% increase in property, plant and equipment to €98.7 million and the 26.1% increase in trade receivables to €14.88 million were counterbalanced by the 4.8% reduction in the value of investment property to €17.24 million after accounting for depreciation and the 7.8% decline in cash balances to €36.55 million. Meanwhile, total liabilities decreased by 7.4% to €87.3 million largely reflecting the aforementioned reduction in the Group’s borrowings by 18.8% to €46.3 million. Overall, the Group’s total equity grew by 9.5% to €85.1 million which translates into a net asset value per share of €0.629 (2015: €0.574). The post-tax return on equity for 2016 reached 25.8% compared to 25.5% in 2015. Similarly, the return on assets increased by 116 basis points to 18.8%.
The Directors recommended an unchanged final gross dividend of €0.107692 per share (net dividend of €0.07 per share) which is payable to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Thursday 6 April 2017 by not later than 26 May 2017 subject to shareholder approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 10 May 2017.
Combining the gross interim dividend of €0.0462 per share (net dividend of €0.03 per share), which was paid out in September 2016 with the above mentioned final dividend, the total dividend declared in respect of the 2016 financial year amounts to €0.1539 gross per share (net: €0.10) representing no change from the dividend paid out in respect of the 2015 financial year.
Looking ahead, the Directors noted that they are still cautiously optimistic given the outlook presented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in which it expects the eighth consecutive year of profitability growth for airlines. However, IATA warned that capacity is expected to grow ahead of demand growth in 2017 and that demand for air travel could weaken on the back of geopolitical instability and the impact of terrorism.
Locally, MIA also noted that two new airlines, namely Eurowings and Condor, will commence operations in 2017 whilst other airlines already present in Malta, such as Volotea, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Czech airlines, Iberia Express, Air Baltic, Lufthansa and Jet2, will either be increasing frequencies on existing routes, operating for a longer season or introducing new routes. Furthermore, in 2017 MIA will be welcoming a new Cruise & Fly operation by P&O which will commence in April. On the other hand, NIKI will be dropping the Vienna route, Air Malta discontinued their flights to Frankfurt and Manchester, Volotea will no longer operate the Catania routes, Wizz Air ended their scheduled flights to and from Gdansk and Vueling cancelled their Rome route.
On this basis, as previously announced, the Directors are forecasting a further growth in passenger movements of between 2% and 3% during 2017. Further details in this respect are available at https://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2017/2016-traffic-results-forecast-for-2017-mia1701/.
The results announcement also reiterated MIA’s capital investment plans, details of which are available at https://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2015/capital-investment-plans-mia1520/.