On 28 July 2021, Plaza Centres plc published its interim financial results covering the six-month period ended 30 June 2021. In this respect, it is important to highlight that the performance recorded in the first half of 2021 is not comparable to the corresponding period in 2020 primarily due to the sale of ‘Tigné Place’ which was concluded in September 2020.
Revenues dropped by just over 20% to €1.15 million (H1 2020: €1.44 million). However, when excluding the loss of income from ‘Tigné Place’, revenues generated from the Plaza Commercial Centre increased by 11.3% reflecting the lower level of support provided to retail tenants (in the form of rental discounts and higher absorption of common area costs) following the outbreak of the pandemic.
Operating costs eased by 2.6% to €0.6 million. Nonetheless, in view of the sharper drop in revenues, the operating profit contracted by 33.2% to €0.55 million. Excluding depreciation charges, EBITDA decreased by 24.5% €0.8 million whilst the EBITDA margin dropped to 69.3% compared to 73.3% in H1 2020. Meanwhile, net finance costs declined by 25.6% to €0.16 million whilst Plaza also recorded a higher level of investment income which amounted to €0.05 million.
Overall, Plaza posted a pre-tax profit of €0.44 million compared to €0.61 million in H1 2020. After accounting for a tax charge of €0.17 million, Plaza’s net profit for the period under review amounted to €0.27 million compared to the €0.4 million generated in the first six months of 2020.
The condensed Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June 2021 shows that total assets contracted by a minimal 0.6% to €38.6 million when compared to the balance as at the end of 2020. Likewise, total liabilities eased by 0.9% to €12.1 million whilst total equity edged 0.5% lower to €26.5 million which, in turn, translates into a net asset value per share of €1.0413.
In their commentary, the Directors noted the progress achieved by Malta in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programme. Moreover, despite the challenging operating environment, Plaza remains confident that its strong financial position will continue to serve in good stead for it to remain resilient and also be in a position to create value for shareholders.