On 26 February 2020, Malta International Airport plc published its Annual Report & Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2019.
During 2019, MIA registered an increase of 8.7% (or +€8.04 million) in revenues to a new record of €100.2 million (FY2018: €92.2 million) as both the ‘Airport’ segment and the ‘Retail & Property’ segment recorded robust growth. In the ‘Aviation’ segment, revenues grew by 9.2% (or +€5.96 million) to €70.8 million reflecting the record number of passenger movements of 7.31 million. On the other hand, revenues from the ‘Retail & Property’ operations increased by 7.57% (or +€2.05 million) to €29.1 million reflecting growth across the company’s non-aviation sector namely the retail outlets and the SkyParks Business Centre.
Operating costs also increased, albeit by a marginal 1.6% to €45.9 million which, however, includes the impact of accounting rule IFRS 16 – ‘Leases’. In fact, on a like-for-like basis, MIA’s operating costs increased by 6.23% to just under €48 million (FY2018: €45.1 million) largely reflecting the higher volumes of business. Nonetheless, given the much higher increase in revenues, operating profit (when adjusted for the impact of IFRS 16) surged by just over 11% (or +€5.23 million) to €52.3 million compared to €47 million in the 2018 financial year. The operating profit margin also improved to 52.2% compared to 51% in the previous comparable period.
Given that MIA had no debt throughout 2019, the company did not incur any finance costs related to bank or other borrowings. Conversely, MIA recorded a marginal investment income of €0.04 million and a positive release of deferred income arising on the sale of terminal buildings and fixtures amounting to €0.28 million.
Overall, MIA reported a pre-tax profit of €52.6 million, representing an increase of 11.7% over the previous year’s comparable figure of €47.1 million. After accounting for a tax charge of €18.7 million, MIA’s net profit for the year amounted to a record of €33.9 million (FY2018: €30.3 million) which is 9.46% higher than initially estimated in January 2019. The profit for the year also translates into a return on average equity of just over 28%.
The Statement of Financial Position shows a 40.2% increase in total assets to €238 million. The significant increase is largely attributable to the recognition of the right-of-use assets following adoption of IFRS 16 as well as the near €13 million increase in cash balances. Similarly, total liabilities almost doubled to €109 million reflecting the recognition of a lease liability amounting to €52.8 million. Overall, MIA’s total equity base expanded by 14.6% to €129 million.
The Directors are recommending an increase of 11.1% in the final net dividend distribution to €0.10 per share. Coupled with the interim net dividend of €0.03 per share paid in September 2019, the total net dividend for the year amounts to €0.13 per share representing an increase of 8.3% over the total dividend distribution for 2018 and a payout ratio of 51.9%. The final net dividend is payable on 27 May 2020 to shareholders as at close of trading on 7 April 2020. The company also noted that the Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held on 13 May 2020.
Looking ahead, the company reiterated its positive outlook for 2020 as it expects passenger movements to increase by 2% to 3% to approximately 7.5 million passengers. Ryanair will extend its four new winter routes into the summer season and introduce a further two routes from Trapani and Brindisi. The airline will also increase frequencies on 9 existing routes. Additionally, both Air Malta and Eurowings will be introducing a new Stuttgart route in April 2020.
2020 will also see the introduction of new low-cost airline Laudamotion, which forms part of the Ryanair group, operating from Vienna. In total, MIA is expected to be connected to over 125 destinations in 2020.
Further increases in seat capacity are also expected due to a number of carriers opting to operate with more environmentally friendly aircraft which offer additional seats when compared to the aircraft types that were previously operated. Growth in traffic will, however, be diluted by carriers which have withdrawn some routes from their schedule and a reduction in the cruise & fly operations.