On 21 February 2018, Malta International Airport plc published its annual financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2017.
During the year under review, MIA registered a 12.7% increase in revenue to a record of €82.4 million (FY2016: €73.1 million), on the back of growth in both the ‘Airport’ segment as well as the ‘Retail & Property’ segment. On the aviation side, revenues grew by 14.6% (or €7.51 million) to €59 million reflecting the record number of passenger movements of 6.01 million (further details about the 2017 traffic results are available here). The remarkable increase in passenger movements also led to further growth in the ‘Retail & Property’ operations of MIA. in this respect, revenues grew by 8.3% (or €1.77 million) to almost €23 million. Similar to previous years, the ‘Airport’ segment contributed around 70% of total revenue whilst the ‘Retail & Property’ segment accounted for almost all of the remaining 30%.
Despite the marked increase in business, operation costs only rose by 3.2% to €41.2 million as the 1.1% drop in staff costs was offset by the 8.3% surge in depreciation charges as well as the 3.2% increase in other operating expenses. Excluding depreciation, EBITDA jumped by 21.5% to a record of €48.6 million (FY2016: €40 million) which in turn is approximately 8% higher than the revised targeted EBITDA level of over €45 million as stated in the Company Announcement dated 28 July 2017. The EBITDA margin also advanced to a new all-time high of 59% (FY2016: 54.7%). Meanwhile, net finance costs almost doubled to €3.81 million (FY2016: €2 million), reflecting a one-time early repayment fee of €2.78 million related to the settlement of a high fixed interest rate loan settled before maturity. In this respect, MIA explained that the early loan repayment will enable the Group to realise interest savings in the future that will ultimately exceed the one-time fee incurred during 2017. In contrast, it is important to highlight that on a normalised basis, net finance costs almost halved to just €1.03 million, reflecting the considerable reduction in debt by MIA.
Overall, MIA reported a pre-tax profit of €37.6 million, representing a 16% rise over the previous year’s comparable figure. After accounting for a tax charge of €13.4 million (FY2016: €11.4 million), MIA’s net profit for the year under review amounted to a record of €24.2 million (FY2016: €21 million) which in turn is approximately 5% higher than the revised targeted net profit of over €23 million as announced on 28 July 2017.
MIA’s Statement of Financial Position shows a 6.1% increase in total assets to €182.9 million and a slight reduction in total liabilities to €87.1 million. Accordingly, shareholders’ funds grew by 12.5% to €95.7 million, translating into a net asset value per share of €0.708 (31 December 2016: €0.629). Meanwhile, it is also important to highlight that MIA had a cash balance of €38.4 million as at 31 December 2017 which is 16.3% higher than the total debt figure of €33 million. As a result, MIA closed 2017 with a net cash position of €5.39 million.
Despite the record results achieved by MIA, the Directors are recommending an unchanged final gross dividend of €0.107692 per share (€0.07 net of tax), which is payable by not later than Friday 25 May 2018 to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 4 April 2018 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday 8 May 2018. Coupled with the gross interim dividend of €0.0462 per share (€0.03 net of tax), the total dividend declared in respect of the 2017 financial year amounts to €0.1539 gross per share (€0.10 net of tax), representing no change from the dividend paid out in respect of FY2016.
Looking ahead, the company explained that two additional aircrafts will be based at MIA – one by Air Malta and the other by Ryanair – enabling each respective airline to launch “a significant number of new routes”. In this respect, Ryanair will be introducing nine new routes as well as extending three routes into their summer schedule. On the other hand, Air Malta will be introducing six new routes as well as recommencing the Manchester route.
Against this background, the Directors added that the outlook for MIA in 2018 is optimistic on the back of another substantial increase in seat capacity whilst projections are indicating that the seat load factor will remain stable, leading to an overall target of yet another record of 6.5 million passenger movements. The Group’s financial targets are also optimistic, with revenues expected to exceed €87 million (+5.6% over FY2017), and EBITDA and net profit anticipated to improve to over €52 million (+7%) and €28 million (+15.9%) respectively.