On 18 March 2022, Malita Investments plc published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2021.
During 2021, revenues eased by 1.9% to €8.58 million reflecting the lower level of ground rent received from the Valletta Cruise Port (“VCP”) in the context of the drop in passenger movements and cruise liner visits as a result of the pandemic.
On the expenditure side, administrative expenses dropped by 24.1% to €0.48 million largely reflecting the decrease in professional fees and other expenses. However, as the contraction in revenues in absolute terms outweighed the drop in administrative expenses, operating profit eased marginally to €8.11 million compared to €8.12 million in 2020.
Net finance costs contracted by 28% to €0.89 million on the back of lower interest costs and bank charges. On the other hand, Malita’s financial performance was heavily negatively impacted by the €27.8 million unfavourable movement in the fair value of investment properties largely reflecting the increase in the yield-to-maturity on the longest dated Malta Government Stock. In fact, the Malta International Airport and VCP sites experienced a fair value loss of €17.8 million to €84.9 million whereas the value of the Parliament Building and the Open-Air Theatre sites contracted by €10 million to €115.3 million.
Overall, Malita registered a pre-tax loss of €20.62 million compared to the pre-tax profit of €11.5 million recorded in the 2020 financial year. After accounting for tax income of €0.6 million, the net loss for the year amounted to €20.02 million (2020: net profit of €9.54 million).
The Statement of Financial Position shows that total assets declined by 2.1% to €243.39 million, mainly reflecting the drop in the value of investment property to €200.15 million. On the other hand, total liabilities rose by 22.3% to €102.67 million largely reflecting the increase of €24.3 million in total borrowings to €76.8 million when including lease liabilities amounting to €3.36 million. Meanwhile, total equity contracted by 14.5% to €140.72 million which, in turn, translates into a net asset value per share of €0.9501 (31 December 2020: €1.1107 per share).
The Directors are recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.0142 per share to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Friday 13 May 2022. The dividend will be paid on Thursday 23 June 2022 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday 16 June 2022.
Coupled with the interim net dividend of €0.01122 per share, the total net dividend for the 2021 financial year amounts to €0.0254 per share. This is 11.5% higher than the total net dividend per share of €0.0228 paid for the 2020 financial year.
Update on the Affordable Housing project
In their commentary, the Directors explained that the Affordable Housing project is proceeding well despite some disruptions related to the pandemic which impacted the availability of labourers and building materials. Nonetheless, during 2021 Malita issued further invitations to tenders for the mechanical, electrical and finishes works as well as the installation of lifts. Construction works for fourteen out of the sixteen sites are completed or close to completion. Tenders for mechanical, electrical, and finishes works of thirteen property sites have been awarded and these are progressing very well on all sites where construction is complete. Furthermore, lift tenders for nine property sites have been awarded and installations are in progress.
Overall, Malita noted that 69 units will be completed in Q1 2022 and a further 92 units will be finished in early Q2 2022. Furthermore, in 2022 the company will also be awarding the tenders for the remaining two sites which are located in Zebbug and Luqa.