On 27 July, Malta International Airport plc published its interim financial statements covering the six months ended 30 June 2017.
During the period under review, MIA registered a 16.7% increase in revenue to a record (at interim stage) of €36.7 million (H1 2016: €31.4 million) on the back of growth in both the ‘Airport’ segment as well as the ‘Retail and Property’ segment.
Turnover from the ‘Airport’ segment increased by 19.1% to €25.9 million (H1 2016: €21.8 million) reflecting the 20.3% increase in passenger movements during the first six months of 2017 to nearly 2.64 million. The growth in passenger numbers was as a result of a 19.3% increase in seat capacity as well as a 0.4 percentage point improvement in the seat load factor to 80.4%. MIA explained that traffic from the UK increased by 10.3%, partly reflecting the start of the new P&O cruise and fly programme. Traffic from Germany improved by 21.7% whilst the Italian and French markets both achieved a 19.4% increase in traffic. Significant increases were also noted in Belgium (+204.6%), whilst growth rates of 63.7% and 26.5% were recorded from the Spanish and Polish markets respectively as new routes were introduced. Meanwhile, revenues from the ‘Retail and Property’ segment increased by 10.7% to €10.5 million (H1 2016: €9.5 million). As a result, the ‘Airport’ segment contributed 71.4% of total revenues (H1 2016: 69.6%) while the ‘Retail and Property’ segment accounted for 28.6% (H1 2016: 30.4%).
Despite the notable growth in business, operating costs increased by only 4.3% to €19.1 million, reflecting increases in staff costs (+1.7% to €3.84 million) and in other operating costs (+6.9% to €11.9 million). On the other hand, depreciation charges dropped by 1.2% to €3.37 million. As a result, MIA’s operating profit grew by 33.8% to €17.6 million from €13.2 million in the previous comparable period. Excluding depreciation, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (“EBITDA”) surged by 26.7% to €20.9 million (H1 2016: €16.5 million) and the EBITDA margin improved to 57% from 52.5% in the first half of 2016.
After accounting for net finance costs of €0.51 million (H1 2016: €0.47 million), MIA reported a pre-tax profit of €17.1 million, representing a 34.6% increase over the previous comparable figure of €12.7 million. The tax charge for the period amounted to €6.11 million, leading to a net profit of €11 million which is 34.8% higher than the net profit registered during the previous comparable six months (€8.16 million).
The Statement of Financial position as at 30 June 2017 shows a 6.2% growth in total assets to €183.1 million when compared to the €172.4 million figure as at 31 December 2016, mainly reflecting increases in the value of property, plant and equipment (+€6.16 million) as well as trade and other receivables (+€4.84 million). On the other hand, total liabilities grew by 10.5% to €96.4 million, mainly as a result of the 24.5% increase in trade and other payables to €36.7 million and much higher current tax liabilities which as at 30 June 2017 amounted to €5.12 million (H1 2016: €1.16 million). Overall, the Group’s equity base expanded by 1.8% to €86.6 million, translating into a net asset value per share of €0.64 (including the unlisted ‘B’ and ‘C’ class shares).
For the tenth consecutive year, the Directors declared an unchanged gross interim dividend of €0.0462 (net: €0.03) per share. The payout ratio has now dropped below the 40% mark to 36.9% in June 2017 from 49.8% in June 2016. Shareholders as at the close of trading on Monday 21 August will be entitled to this dividend which will be paid by not later than Friday 22 September 2017.
MIA also announced that it will be issuing an updated guidance for 2017 which will show an improved overall operational and financial performance of the Company. On 11 January 2017, MIA had forecasted a growth of between 2% to 3% in passenger numbers to 5.2 million for 2017. The airport operator had also presented a set of financial targets for the entire financial year ending 31 December 2017. These showed that MIA was expecting to generate €73 million in revenues, an EBITDA of over €40 million and a net profit of over €20 million.