On 10 August 2021, GO plc published its condensed interim financial statements covering the six-month period ended 30 June 2021.
During the first six months of 2021, revenues increased by 2.5% to a record (at interim stage) of €93.9 million compared to €91.6 million in the previous comparable period. The increase in business activity was generated by Cablenet Communication Systems plc (GO’s telecoms subsidiary in Cyprus) and BMIT Technologies plc. Cablenet continued on its positive trajectory with a growth of 10.5% in turnover to €25.6 million (H1 2020: €23.2 million) reflecting the company’s subscriber gains, expansion in the fixed network footprint, and the launch of new mobile services by virtue of a Mobile Network Services Agreement entered into with Cyrus Telecommunications Authority (‘CYTA’) in Q2 2021. Similarly, BMIT increased its revenues by 7.1% (net of intra-segment transactions) to €11.9 million (H1 2020: €11.1 million) on the back of higher demand for data centre, cloud and managed services. On the other hand, GO’s operations in Malta recorded a drop of 1.6% in sales to €56.3 million (H1 2020: €57.2 million) mainly due to the continued negative impact of international travel restrictions on roaming and other international wholesale revenues.
On the expenditure side, net operating costs increased by 3.4% to €83.9 million as the higher level of direct costs and ancillary administrative expenses in connection with the setting up, launch, and operation of Cablenet’s new mobile service offset the savings achieved from the various cost efficiency measures pursued by the Group. Excluding depreciation and amortisation charges, EBITDA eased by 1.9% to €34.8 million (H1 2020: €35.5 million) which, in turn, translates into an EBITDA margin of 37.1% compared to 38.8% in the first half of 2020. Meanwhile, net finance costs increased to just above €2 million (H1 2020: €1.45 million) as the Group increased its level of net borrowings to €94.1 million (when excluding lease liabilities amounting to €45.2 million) compared to €65.7 million as at the end of June 2020.
Overall, GO reported a pre-tax profit of €7.9 million which is 12% lower than the corresponding figure of €8.97 million recorded in the first half of 2020. After taking into account tax charges of €4 million, the net profit attributable to shareholders amounted to €3.91 million (H1 2020: €5.04 million). This translates into an annualised return on average equity of 7.2% (H1 2020: 9.3%).
The condensed Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June 2021, when compared to the corresponding figures as at 31 December 2020, shows that net assets contracted by 10.9% to €100.8 million. Total assets climbed by 16.4% to €415.8 million largely reflecting the balance of €60 million raised from the issue of the new bonds. Likewise, total liabilities increased to €304.7 million on the back of the additional borrowings taken on as well as the higher level of trade payables.
For the first time since 2007, the Board of Directors of GO elected to distribute an interim dividend amounting to €0.07 per share net of tax. The dividend is payable on 31 August 2021 to all shareholders as at close of trading on 16 August 2021.