On 9 March, Plaza Centres plc published its preliminary financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016.
It is important to highlight that the Group figures for the year under review include the consolidated performance of the newly acquired property, Tigne Place Commercial Property, with effect from September 2016 through a new wholly owned subsidiary, Tigne Place Limited.
During the year under review, turnover grew by 11.8% to €2.73 million (2015: €2.44 million) reflecting both an increase in rental income from the Plaza Commercial Centre as well as the contribution from the newly acquired property with occupancy remaining high throughout the year at 99%. Administrative expenses also increased by 33.1% to €0.47 million reflecting the additional operating expenditure related to Tigne Place as well as other costs incurred in the acquisition of the same property.
As a result, the Company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) improved to €2.26 million, an increase of 8.2% from the €2.08 million in the previous financial year. The depreciation charge advanced by 0.6% to €0.37 million (2015: €0.36 million). Nonetheless, operating profits still improved by 9.8% to €1.89 million as against €1.72 million in 2015.
Net finance costs also increased to €0.24 million compared to €0.13 million in 2015 largely reflecting the additional interest costs incurred on the €8.5 million bond issued in 2016 (to partly finance the Tigne Place acquisition and re-finance bank facilties) as well as the new banking faciltiies obtained by Tigne Place Limited.
Overall, Plaza’s pre-tax profit grew by 3.5% to €1.65 million (2015: 1.59 million). After accounting for a lower tax charge of €0.38 million (2015: €0.58 million) on the back of a more favourable tax regime, the Company’s net profit figure amounted to a record €1.27 million, up by 25.3% from €1.01 million in 2015. This translates into an earnings per share of €0.0449 (2015: €0.0358).
The Statement of Financial Position shows a 34.6% growth in total assets to €43.4 million (2015: €32.3 million) reflecting the acquisition of Tigne Place. Similarly, total liabilities increased considerably to €17.24 million from €7.6 million mainly due to the aforementioned additional borrowings taken on by the Group during the year under review. Accordingly, shareholders’ funds climbed 6.1% to €26.18 million (2015: €24.7 million), translating into a net asset value of per share of €0.927 (2015: €0.873).
The post-tax return on equity (ROE) increased by 81 basis points to 4.98% (2015: 4.17%). Meanwhile, the pre-tax return on assets (ROA) retreated to 4.36% (2015: 4.93%).
The Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.0294 per share, representing a 2.8% increase over the previous year’s net dividend of €0.0286 per share. Shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 26 April will be eligible to receive this dividend on Tuesday 6 June subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to be held on Wednesday 31 May 2017.
Looking ahead, the Directors noted that following the successful acquisition executed in September last year, the Company will continue to consider further growth opportunities as they arise. Meanwhile, occupancy during 2017 is expected to slightly decline compared to the occupancy levels achieved in 2016.