On 28 July 2021, Malta International Airport plc published its interim financial statements covering the six-month period ended 30 June 2021.
During the first half of 2021, MIA registered a 15.5% decline in revenues to €12.6 million. The sharpest drop was recorded in the ‘Airport’ segment reflecting the further contraction in passenger movements as the airport operator welcomed just over 0.4 million passengers in the first half of 2021 compared to 1.02 million in the corresponding period in 2020. As a result, the ‘Airport’ segment contributed €5.8 million in revenues compared to €8.4 million in H1 2020. On the other hand, revenue from within the ‘Retail & Property’ segment inched 3.6% higher to €6.8 million.
On the expenditure side, total operating costs dropped by 7.7% to €15.7 million from just under €16.9 million in 2020. MIA maintained a judicious approach to cost management in order to mitigate the sharp drop in revenue. Despite these efforts, MIA still registered an operating loss which amounted to €2.9 million (H1 2020: €1.9 million) as the €5.8 million loss in the ‘Airport’ segment was only partially offset by the operating profit of €2.7 million generated within the ‘Retail & Property’ segment. Excluding depreciation and amortisation charges, EBITDA eased to €2.4 million compared to €2.6 million in H1 2020.
Net finance costs remained broadly unchanged at €1.06 million. Moreover, while the airport operator remained free from any bank borrowings, the amount of lease liabilities increased slightly to €53.4 million.
Overall, MIA recorded a pre-tax loss of €3.9 million (H1 2020: €2.9 million). After taking into account a tax income of €1.24 million (H1 2020: €0.84 million), the loss for the period under review amounted to €2.69 million compared to a net loss of just over €2 million in the first half of 2020.
The condensed ‘Statement of Financial Position’ as at 30 June 2021 shows that total assets contracted by 2.7% to just under €229 million when compared to the level as at the end of 2020. This was due to the sharp decline in cash and short-term deposits to €14.9 million from €26.0 million which outweighed the rise in trade and other receivables to €12.1 million. Similarly, total liabilities eased by 3% to €106.9 million from €110.2 million as at 31 December 2020. Likewise, the equity base of the company contracted by 2.1% to €122.1 million from €124.8 million.
In their commentary, the Directors of MIA noted that the easing of travel restrictions together with several traffic developments led to an improvement in the passenger numbers handled by the airport operator during the month of June when compared to the previous months. However, the industry’s recovery continues to be beset by uncertainties as travel restrictions continue to change, thereby dampening consumer confidence in both air travel in general and Malta as a destination. The Directors also added that the Government’s introduction of new and disruptive travel restrictions for unvaccinated travellers constituted a major setback to the industry’s recovery progress.
Given the volatility of the environment within which MIA has been operating for the past months, the company does not have sufficiently reliable data to provide the market with guidance. Furthermore, the Board of Directors of MIA believe that, with the aim of preserving the company’s liquidity and maintain its financial stability, it is not prudent to recommend the payment of an interim dividend.