On 6 March 2018, GO plc published the preliminary statement of annual results for the financial year ended 31 December 2017.
During 2017, GO generated €166.3 million in revenues, representing an increase of 5.9% (or €9.33 million) over the previous comparable period. In this respect, the company explained that despite the highly competitive operating environment, it registered growth in both Malta and Cyprus (through Cablenet Communications Systems Limited) on the back of its continuous investment in infrastructure and the creation of value generating business. In fact, revenues from the Maltese operations increased by 5.8% to €135.4 million (FY2016: €127.9 million) whilst revenues in Cyprus grew by 6.4% to €31 million (FY2016: €29.1 million).
Selling, distribution & administrative expenses increased in line with the overall growth in business to €100.7 million (+5.7%). Nonetheless, EBITDA still improved by 6.4% to €65.6 million (FY2016: €61.6 million) and the EBITDA margin remained at just above 39%. In this respect, it is also important to highlight that the growth registered in EBITDA emanated from the Maltese operations only. In fact, EBITDA of Cablenet dropped by 2.7% year-on-year as the company increased its marketing efforts with the aim of fending off competition.
Depreciation and amortisation charges increased minimally to €36 million (FY2016: €35.4 million). On the other hand, net finance costs dropped by nearly 27% to €1.85 million (FY2016: €2.53 million) reflecting lower levels of debt.
Overall, GO reported a pre-tax profit of €27.9 million which is slightly lower than the €28.1 million figure of the previous comparable period that included a one-time gain of €6.08 million related to the value of GO’s investment in Cablenet. After accounting for a tax charge of €9.87 million and minority interests of €1.31 million (pertaining to the 49% share of Cablenet not owned by GO), the net profit figure for the year amounted to €16.7 million.
The Statement of Financial Position shows that total assets remained broadly unchanged at €251.8 million. In contrast, total liabilities dropped by 2.7% to €136.7 million, largely due to the 8% decline in total debt to €67.9 million (31 December 2016: €73.8 million). As a result, total equity expanded by 5.4% to €115.1 million. Excluding minority interests, shareholders’ funds reached €106.9 million. This translated into a net asset value per share of €1.055 (31 December 2016: €0.998).
The Directors are recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.13 per share which is 18.2% higher than the net dividend for FY2016. Shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 11 April 2018 will be entitled to receive this dividend which is payable on Wednesday 16 May 2018 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Monday 14 May 2018.