On 22 April 2021, Tigné Mall plc published its annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020.
During 2020, revenues dropped by 22.1% to €5.44 million as the company’s operations were materially adversely impacted by COVID-19. In line with the restrictions imposed by local health authorities, ‘The Point Shopping Mall’ was temporarily closed for six weeks between March and May 2020. Moreover, Tigné Mall experienced a drop in the amount of variable rent receivable on sales, whilst it also adopted a number of measures aimed at supporting the operations and business of its tenants including rent support initiatives and customer parking incentives.
On the expenditure side, total operating costs eased by 2.1% to €2.54 million as the company took all necessary measures to safeguard the health and interests of its tenants and visitors. Nonetheless, given the much higher drop in revenue, EBITDA declined by almost 24% to €4.7 million whilst operating profit contracted by 34% to €2.9 million. Meanwhile, net finance costs dropped by 7.9% to €0.75 million as despite taking on a new €1 million banking facility falling under the ‘Malta Development Bank COVID-19’ scheme, Tigné Mall incurred lower bank interests as the company continued to reduce its overall indebtedness.
Overall, Tigné Mall reported a pre-tax profit of €2.16 million compared to €3.58 million in 2019. After accounting for a tax charge of €0.83 million, the company’s net profit amounted to €1.32 million (-48%) which, in turn, translates into a return on average equity of 2.74% (2019: 5.4%).
The Statement of Financial Position as at 31 December 2020 shows that total assets eased by 1% to €83.6 million as the reduction in value of property, plant and equipment (-2%) and trade and other receivables (-82%) offset the substantial increase of 50.5% in cash balances to €2.6 million. Similarly, total liabilities decreased by almost 6% to €34.6 million as bank borrowings dropped by a further €2.07 million to just under €15 million. The Company’s equity base increased by 2.8% to €49 million which, in turn, translates into a net asset value per share of €0.868.
In view of the exceptional circumstances related to COVID-19, and in order to preserve its cash resources, Tigné Mall decided not to pay a dividend for the 2020 financial year. Notwithstanding this, Tigné Mall noted that the resumption of dividend payments is one of its top priorities for the future.
In their commentary, the Directors explained that following the re-opening of ‘The Point Shopping Mall’ in May 2020, business was slow but as early as June 2020, trading statistics were already showing a level of improvement. The company acted quickly to chart the course for the second half of 2020 by adapting to a new trading environment. All on-site events were cancelled and the focus shifted to reaching out to customers through the media, both via the traditional platforms and increasingly through the social media. Although footfall dropped, Tigné Mall noted that spend per capita increased significantly as most of the people who visited the shopping complex made a purchase.
In conclusion, Tigné Mall noted that although the pandemic will have an impact on its operations and financial performance in 2021, the company is expected to have sufficient liquidity and financial resources to meet its obligations and cash outflows.