On 17 March 2022, Malta Properties Company plc published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2021.
During 2021, revenues increased by 6% to a record of €3.64 million as the full-year contribution from the HSBC Contact Centre in Swatar which was acquired by MPC in September 2020, coupled with the inflation-linked adjustments in rents, offset the loss of income from the Marsa Spencer Hill Old Exchange after GO vacated this building in February 2021 following its migration to a newly built exchange which is also owned by MPC.
Administrative expenses increased by just over 20% to €1.56 million (2020: €1.3 million) reflecting higher level of professional fees, as well as insurance, repairs, maintenance and staff related costs. Excluding depreciation charges, EBITDA eased by 2.6% to €2.09 million compared to €2.15 million in the 2020 financial year. Similarly, operating profit (“EBIT”) dropped by 2.7% to €2.08 million which translates into an EBIT margin of 57.1% (2020: 62.1%).
Net finance costs surged by almost 25% to €0.69 million (2020: €0.55 million) reflecting the charges related to the refinancing of a €16 million loan as well as the full year of interest on a new loan took on for the acquisition of the HSBC Contact Centre in Swatar. Meanwhile, the financial performance of MPC was negatively impacted by the lower amount of fair value gains on investment property of €2.22 million compared to €2.74 million in 2020.
Overall, MPC reported a pre-tax profit of €3.61 million, representing a drop of 16.6% when compared to the previous comparable period. After accounting for a tax charge of €0.97 million, the net profit figure for the year amounted to €2.65 million (2020: €2.98 million).
The Statement of Financial Position shows that total assets contracted by 1.4% to €92.8 million whilst total liabilities dropped by 7% to €36.1 million. As a result, shareholders’ funds grew by 2.6% to €56.7 million which, in turn, translates into a net asset value per share of €0.5598 (31 December 2020: €0.5457).
The Board of Directors is recommending the payment of an unchanged final net dividend of €0.012 per share. Shareholders as at close of trading on 13 April 2022 will be entitled to receive this dividend on 24 May 2022 subject to shareholders’ approval during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held remotely on 19 May 2022.
In their commentaries, the Chairman and also the CEO of MPC explained that the long-term outlook of the company remains positive as MPC continues with its drive in identifying and pursuing new opportunities. Moreover, following the sale of the St George’s Old Exchange in August 2021, the Preliminary Agreement for the sale of the B’Kara Old Exchange (which was signed in September 2021), and the Preliminary Agreement for the acquisition of the Mediterranean Building in Ta’ Xbiex (which was also signed in September 2021), MPC is continuing with the development of the new Zejtun technology hub which will be handed over to GO plc in next few months.