On 12 November 2021, Malta International Airport plc announced that during the month of October 2021, it welcomed 428,426 passengers which is the strongest monthly figure since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Moreover, although the number of passenger movements in October 2021 is 39.1% lower than that of the corresponding month in 2019, on the other hand it is substantially higher than the volume of passengers recorded in October 2020 which amounted to 110,346 movements. Similarly, although the seat load factor of 69.3% in October 2021 is 13 percentage points lower than the level achieved in October 2019, it is considerably higher than the level of 42% recorded in October 2020.
MIA noted that as the UK simplified testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers at the beginning of October 2021, it continued to top the list of the best-performing markets. In fact, passenger movements from the UK amounted to 110,800 representing almost 26% of total traffic. In addition, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain followed the UK as the top markets with a cumulative total of 170,991 passenger movements (39.9%).
In conclusion, MIA stated that while it is bracing itself for another tough winter that will be characterised by continued travel restrictions, suppressed consumer confidence, and an uneven recovery, nonetheless it is optimistic that the coming months will mark an improvement over winter 2020.
Q1 to Q3 2021 Update
MIA also provided information about its financial performance and position until September 2021. In this respect, MIA explained that revenues amounted to €32.3 million compared to €25 million in the same period in 2020 and €77.3 million in 2019. As the airport operator continued to exercise strict control over costs, operating expenses contracted by 9.3% to €16.5 million compared to €18.2 million in 2020. As a result of the considerable increase in revenues and the reduction in costs, EBITDA more than doubled to €15.8 million compared to €6.8 million in 2020. However, this is still 68.2% lower than the EBITDA of €49.6 million recorded in Q1-Q3 2019. Likewise, the EBITDA margin of 48.8% recorded in 2021 is considerably inferior to the margin of 64.2% achieved in Q1-Q3 2019.
After accounting for depreciation charges (€8.22 million) and net finance costs (€1.57 million), MIA reported a profit before tax of €6.19 million compared to the loss of €1.45 million in 2020 and the profit of €41.7 in Q1-Q3 2019. Moreover, after the deduction of a tax charge of €2.37 million, MIA posted a net profit of €3.81 million which, in turn, translates into an annualised return on equity of around 4% (Q1-Q3 2019: 31.1%).
From a financial position perspective, MIA had total assets of €232.1 million and total liabilities of €103.5 million as at 30 September 2021. Cash balances dropped by €10.6 million to €20.5 million compared to €31 million as at the end of 2020. On the other hand, the airport operator remained free from any bank and other borrowings.