On 21 April 2020, Main Street Complex plc published its Annual Report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019.
During 2019, revenues increased by 10.4% to €0.82 million as the company’s commercial property located in central Paola – namely ‘Main Street Complex’ – reached full occupancy whilst the amount of footfall climbed to a new record of over 900,000 visitors (up almost 10%).
In view of the higher level of business, coupled with the full-year costs associated with the company’s listing on the Regulated Main Market of the Malta Stock Exchange, total costs increased by 13.4% to €0.2 million. Nonetheless, given the higher increase in revenues, EBITDA still surged by 13.4% to €0.62 million although the EBITDA margin eased to 75.6% compared to 78.7% in the 2018 financial year. Meanwhile, depreciation charges increased slightly to just over €0.1 million but net finance costs dropped significantly to almost nil reflecting the full-year impact of virtually no debt.
Overall, Main Street Complex reported a pre-tax profit of €0.52 million, representing a growth of 17.5% over the corresponding figure of €0.44 million in 2018. After accounting for a tax charge of €0.13 million, the company’s net profit for the year amounted to €0.39 million (+25.3%) which, however, is 7.3% lower than the projected figure of €0.42 million at the time of the Initial Public Offering. The profit for year translated into a return on average equity of 3.4% (FY2018: 3.2%) and a return on average assets of 2.9% (FY2018: 2.3%).
The Statement of Financial Position as at 31 December 2019 shows that total assets increased by 1% to €13.4 million which, in turn, includes cash balances of €0.26 million. On the other hand, total liabilities expanded by 5.3% to €1.76 million reflecting higher trade and tax liabilities. Nevertheless, net assets remained virtually unchanged at €11.7 million which, in turn, translates into a net asset value per share of €0.602 (31 December 2018: €0.600).
Following the payment of an interim net dividend of €0.0083 per share on 20 September 2019, Main Street Complex explained that in light of the prevailing circumstances resulting from the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic, it is adopting a prudent approach in so far as the recommendation to distribute a final dividend is concerned. In this respect, a decision to establish whether a dividend for the 2019 financial year is to be recommended and if so, the amount, will be taken by the Board at a date closer to the company’s forthcoming AGM.
In the commentary to the 2019 Annual Report, Main Street Complex explained that despite a healthy operational and financial position as well as the encouraging start to 2020, the Board of Directors acknowledges that the uncertainties brought about by the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic including the consequent disruptions to business will have a negative impact on the company’s results for the 2020 financial year.
Although ‘Main Street Complex’ temporarily closed its doors for business on 23 March 2020, the company has reached out to its concessionaries and offered its transitory support whilst also implemented various cost-cutting measures. Moreover, the company is committed to continue evaluating its operating environment and take decisions to safeguard the immediate and medium-term requirements of its various stakeholders. In this respect, an impact assessment to assess the ability of the company to sustain its operations during the expected period of closure, considering various scenarios, has been carried out. These showed that the company has a strong financial position and the absence of debt will enable the company to absorb the negative repercussions in the foreseeable future.
In conclusion, the Directors of the company expressed their confidence that ‘Main Street Complex‘ will continue to be a popular shopping destination once current restrictions are lifted. While remaining wary of the challenges ahead, the Directors also added that they continue to look to the future with optimism once normal operations resume.