On 23 April 2020, MIDI plc published the 2019 Annual Report and financial statements.
During 2019, MIDI recorded a 47.2% drop in revenues to €27.7 million as the company had much lower residential units of the ‘Q2’ apartments available for sale. Nevertheless, this figure is substantially higher than that forecasted of €16.7 million in the Financial Analysis Summary dated 21 June 2019, possibly reflecting the delivery of more ‘Q2’ apartments to their respective owners than previously anticipated. In fact, revenues from development and sale of property amounted to €24.3 million (representing 87.6% total revenues) compared to the forecasted figure of €13.4 million, whilst revenues from rental and management of property amounted to €3.44 million.
Operating costs moved in line with the overall reduction in business. These dropped by almost 53% to €16 million. As a result, MIDI reported a 36.7% decline in operating profit to €11.7 million but the operating profit margin still improved to 42.1% compared to 35.2% in the previous corresponding period. The improved operating profit margin reflects higher margins from the sale of the ‘Q2’ apartments as well as the non-recurrence of an impairment charge of €1.4 million which was accounted for in the 2018 financial year against the book value of the company’s HVAC plant.
Meanwhile, net finance costs increased by almost 7% to €2.1 million. However, this increase was offset by the 50%-owned joint venture company Mid Knight Holdings Ltd (the owner of “The Centre” business block) whose contribution to MIDI surged by 20.5% to €1.63 million compared to €1.35 million in the 2018 financial year.
Overall, MIDI reported a pre-tax profit of €11.2 million which, after accounting for a tax charge of €3.02 million, led to a net profit of €8.21 million.
The Statement of Financial Position as at 31 December 2019 shows that total assets increased by 6.3% €234.6 million largely reflecting the recognition of €13.1 million in ‘right-of-use assets’. Furthermore, during 2019, Mid Knight Holdings Ltd paid in full an outstanding loan to MIDI amounting to €9.7 million as a result of which, MIDI’s cash balances increased to €21.9 million as at the end of 2019.
Similarly, total liabilities increased by 6.1% to €130.7 million, mostly due to the recognition of ‘lease liabilities’ amounting to €13.6 million whilst total bank borrowings and bonds remained virtually unchanged at €59.4 million. Accordingly, net assets expanded by 6.7% to just under €104 million which, in turn, translates into a net asset value per share of €0.486 compared to €0.455 as at the end of the 2018 financial year and €0.463 per share as forecasted in the Financial Analysis Summary dated 21 June 2019.
Dividend & AGM
In view of the current uncertainties caused by the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic, and in order to preserve the company’s cash resources, the Board of Directors decided not to recommend the payment of a dividend for the 2019 financial year.
Moreover, the Annual General Meeting which was scheduled to be held on 15 June 2020 has now been postponed. A further company announcement will be issued in due course.
In their commentary to the 2019 Annual Report, the Directors of MIDI explained that the company remains fully committed to the Manoel Island project and that a number of development options are being pursued. On 7 March 2019, the Planning Authority approved the Outline Development Permit providing for a gross developable area of 127,178 square metres which, however, is currently the subject of an appeal. This appeal process has recently been halted as the sittings of the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal have been cancelled until further notice. As a result, the commencement of the development of Manoel Island has inevitably been delayed.
On 16 April 2020, a full development permit was granted by the Planning Authority for the development of the final phase of the Tignè Point development. This includes the development of the ‘Q3’ residential block which will comprise 63 apartments and 4 levels of car parking and the embellishment of the Garden Battery and adjoining areas. MIDI has commenced the process associated with preparing the respective tender documents for this development and the target is to commence development works early in 2021.
With respect to the ongoing ‘COVID-19’ pandemic, MIDI explained that it expects the 2020 financial results to be negatively impacted. Although it is not possible to accurately assess the extent and duration of the pandemic as well as the consequential effects on the Maltese economy, MIDI stated that it is apparent that this pandemic will have a significant impact throughout 2020 on both the sale of the residential units as well as on the rental operations.
MIDI concluded by saying that although 2020 is expected to be a challenging year, it has sufficient funds to meet all its ongoing obligations and forecasted cash outflows as they fall due, taking into account the arrangements with its bankers in respect of existing bank facilities. MIDI has also implemented a number of cost cutting measures and will continue to monitor the situation and take any other necessary measures should the need arise.