On 18 May 2021, MaltaPost plc published its preliminary statement of half yearly results for the six-month period ended 31 March 2021.
During the first half of the current financial year, revenues increased by 17.4% to €20.2 million as the continued growth in international mail and parcel volumes offset the persistent reduction in traditional mail services.
In view of the increased business, operating expenses surged by 19.7% to €19.0 million mainly due to higher cross-border conveyance costs. As a result, operating profit increased by 4.4% to €1.42 million (H1 2019/20: €1.36 million) whilst the operating profit margin eased to 6.9% (H1 2019/20: 7.9%).
After accounting for finance income of €0.04 million and a loss of €0.06 million pertaining to the company’s new investment in IVALIFE Insurance Ltd, the postal operator reported an unchanged pre-tax profit of €1.4 million. After deducting a tax charge of €0.51 million, the net profit for the period eased by 3.5% to €0.89 million (H1 2019/20: €0.92 million). This translates into an annualised return on average equity of 6.7% (H1 2019/20: 7.1%).
The condensed Interim Statement of Financial Position shows that total assets increased by 8.4% to €50.5 million since the end of September 2020 reflecting the investment in IVALIFE Insurance and a 35% increase in cash to €8.2 million. Likewise, total liabilities increased by 21.1% to €23.5 million reflecting increases in trade and other payables. Overall, net assets eased by 2.6% to €26.5 million.
In their commentary, the Directors explained that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the reduction in traditional postal volumes whilst certain services within the Universal Service Obligation (‘USO’) continue to be a financial burden to the company. In this regard, MaltaPost is requesting authorisation from the Malta Communications Authority for further tariff revisions to compensate for its USO. Brexit also presented additional challenges due to mandatory customs border checks. Meanwhile, a negative impact on inbound small packet volumes is expected as a VAT exemption on low value goods will be removed as from 1 July 2021.