On 11 May, MaltaPost plc published its interim results covering the six months ended 31 March 2017.
During the period under review, the postal operator registered a 25.9% increase in revenues to a record (at interim stage) of €17.6 million (H1 2015/16: €14 million), reflecting growth in the provision of services related to international mail, registered mail, SendOn and parcels business which outweighed the adverse effect of the decreasing letter mail volumes.
Similarly, total operating expenses (comprising of staff costs, operational expenses, depreciation and amortisation) advanced by 27.8% to €15.9 million (H1 2015/16: €12.4 million) reflecting costs related to increased activity as well as higher staff costs. However, given the larger increase in revenues (+€3.63 million) than the increase in costs (+€3.46 million), operating profit improved by 10.8% to €1.75 million compared to €1.58 million in the first half of the previous financial year. Excluding depreciation and amortisation charges, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (“EBITDA”) advanced by 6% to €2.12 million (H1 2015/16: €2 million).
After accounting for net finance income which decreased by 10% to just €0.07 million, the Company’s pre-tax profits improved by 9.8% to €1.82 million (H1 2015/16: €1.66 million). Similarly, after deducting a tax charge of €0.63 million, MaltaPost registered a net profit of €1.19 million for the first six months of the current financial year ending 30 September 2017 compared to €1.11 million in the previous comparable period. This translates into an earnings per share of €0.032 (H1 2015/16: €0.0304).
The Statement of Financial Position shows an 8.6% growth in total assets since the end of the previous financial year on 30 September 2016 to €39.4 million which is largely attributable to the 31% surge in trade and other receivables as well as the 13% increase in cash balances to €9.93 million. On the other hand, total liabilities grew by 15.7% to €16.3 million largely reflecting higher levels of trade and other payables. Meanwhile, MaltaPost remained debt-free. Accordingly, total shareholders’ funds grew by 4% to €23.1 million. This translates into a net asset value per share of €0.614 (30 September 2016: €0.60).
Looking ahead, the Directors noted that the Company will continue to seek further diversification and leverage on and maximise the business potential of its infrastructure, brand and expertise. It also remains conscious of its role as the national Universal Service provider and seeks to fulfil such obligations in a commercially viable manner. MaltaPost believes that its efforts at developing new revenue streams, particularly in logistics and related support services, will adequately compensate for the negative impact of the letter mail services.
Overall, the Directors expressed their confidence that the positive trend will continue throughout the financial year and look forward to continued healthy growth in business activity.