On 20 December 2019, MaltaPost plc published its annual report for the financial year ended 30 September 2019.
During the financial year under review, MaltaPost plc registered a 14.2% decrease in turnover to €34.5 million reflecting a drop in international postal activities (postal traffic unrelated to Malta) which offset the continued growth in international parcels and packets, registered mail, bill collection and document management services as well as the increased postal tariffs as approved by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA). However, given the reduction in international postal activities, MaltaPost plc also registered a 16.5% drop in operational expenses to €30.7 million leading to an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) figure of €3.8 million, an increase of 10.7% from the previous comparable figure. After accounting for depreciation and amortisation charges of €1.02 million (FY2017/18: €0.96 million), the operating profit amounted to €2.79 million representing a 12.7% improvement over the previous year’s comparable figure.
After taking into consideration a marginal finance income of €0.19 million, MaltaPost’s pre-tax profits improved by 12.9% to almost €3 million when compared to the previous financial year. The tax charge for the year amounted to €1.03 million, which is 13.1% higher than the €0.91 million charge incurred in the previous financial period. Accordingly, post-tax profits increased by 12.9% to €1.95 million (FY2017/18: €1.73 million). This translates into an earnings per share of €0.0518 (FY2017/18: €0.0459).
The Statement of Financial Position shows a 9.9% contraction in total assets to €43.2 million (30 September 2018: €47.9 million) largely due to the 59.7% drop in cash balances to €5.1 million which in turn largely reflects a significantly lower cash balance collected on behalf of third parties amounting to €1.52 million compared to €9.7 million as at 30 September 2018. Similarly, total liabilities contracted by 24.7% to €16.2 million mainly due to the 28.9% decrease in trade and other payables to €13.2 million. Overall, the Company’s equity base expanded by 2% to €26.96 million which translates into a net asset value per share of €0.716 (30 September 2018: €0.702).
The Directors recommended an unchanged final net dividend of €0.04 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 23 January 2020. The dividend will be paid on 20 March 2020 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 26 February 2020.
In their commentary, the Directors of MaltaPost noted that whilst the company remains committed to its Universal Service Obligation, the Company remains in discussion with the Malta Communications Authority to ensure that the tariff structure is revised annually so as to truly reflect both domestic and international costs especially in view of a Univeral Postal Union decision taken earlier this year that will result in a substantial increase in international mail charges as from 2020.
In the meantime, MaltaPost continues to invest in other non-postal sectors to further supplement its core activity with new revenue streams. In this respect, the Directors explained that they are confident that the continued diversification into logistics, document management and financial services (setting a business venture with three other partners to carry out the business of life insurance), bodes well for the future so as to provide a fair return on investment.