On 4 August, GO plc published its interim financial statements covering the six months ended 30 June 2017.
GO reported a 5.6% increase in revenues to nearly €81 million (H1 2016: €76.7 million) as the Group’s operations in both Malta and Cyprus experienced growth. Likewise, aggregate costs also increased but a slower pace than the increase in revenues. In fact, the cost base of the Group expanded by 3.1% to €66.4 million (H1 2016: €64.4 million), leading to an operating profit of €14.6 million which is 18.8% higher than the €12.3 million figure reported in the previous comparable period. Excluding depreciation and amortisation charges, EBITDA surged by 9% to €32.6 million from €29.9 million generated in the first six months of FY2016. The EBITA margin also improved to 40.2% (H1 2016: 39%).
During the period under review, net finance costs dropped by 15.2% to €1.09 million.
The half-year results of 2016 included a one-off gain amounting to €6.08 million arising on the re-measurement of the investment of Cablenet following further acquisition of shares in January 2016. This gain was not repeated during the period under review.
As a result, the GO Group reported a pre-tax profit of €13.5 million which is nearly 21% lower than the corresponding figure last year. However, excluding the aforementioned one-time gain, GO’s pre-tax profit was 18.8% higher than that of the first six months of FY2016.
After taking into consideration a tax charge of €4.65 million (H1 2016: €2.92 million) and minority interests of €0.75 million (pertaining to the shareholdings in Cablenet and Kinetix not owned by the Group), GO’s net profits attributable to shareholders amounted to €8.13 million, representing a 38.1% drop (including the one-off gain registered in H1 2016) from the comparable period.
The Statement of Financial Position shows a drop of 0.85% in total assets to €247.6 million when compared to the figures as at 31 December 2016 whilst total liabilities remained virtually unchanged at €140.7 million. Shareholder’s funds (i.e. excluding non-controlling interests) decreased by 3% to €98.1 million which translate into a net asset value per share of €0.9682.
For the tenth consecutive year, the Board of Directors resolved to determine the extent of a dividend distribution for 2017 on the basis of the full-year results. Thus, no interim dividend was declared.
Going forward, GO explained that its growth strategy is based on a number of initiatives aimed at improving the experience of its customers (namely through strategic investments), maximise revenues and implementing cost controls. GO also noted that in spite of the significant and intense competition as well as shrinking profitability in the telecommunications industry, it continues to outperform the sector, increase its total customer connections and achieve improved levels of profitability.