On 27 July 2022, Malta International Airport plc published its interim financial statements covering the six-month period ended 30 June 2022.
Revenues amounted to €37.3 million reflecting the continued strong recovery in business in line with trends seen internationally. The income generated by MIA in H1 2022 was marginally superior to the revenues of €36.7 million recorded in the first half of 2017 but 16.3% lower than the record of €44.6 million achieved in H1 2019. Turnover from the ‘Retail and Property’ segment amounted to €12.8 million (2019: €13.3 million) whilst the aviation segment generated revenues of €24.4 million compared to €31 million in 2019.
Total operating costs amounted to €39.3 million, thus leading to an operating profit (EBIT) of €17.7 million. Excluding depreciation and amortisation charges, EBITDA stood at €23.3 million which is only 2.8% lower than the level of €23.9 million generated in 2018. In 2019, MIA had achieved a EBITDA of just under €27 million. Meanwhile, in terms of margins, the airport operator achieved a record EBITDA margin of 62.4% in H1 2022 (H1 2019: 60.5%) whilst the EBIT margin stood at 47.5% (H1 2019: 51%).
After accounting for net finance costs of €1.06 million and a tax charge of €5.96 million, MIA reported a net profit of €10.7 million which, in turn, translates into an annualised return on average equity of 16.2%.
The Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June 2022 shows that total assets increased by 6.2% to €257.7 million largely reflecting higher trade receivables and cash balances which reached €38.4 million compared to €32.7 million as at the end of 2021. Total liabilities increased by 3.9% to €115.3 million mainly due to the higher level of current tax liabilities. Overall, MIA’s equity base expanded by 8.1% to €142.5 million.
Despite the strong set of financial results, MIA explained that in view of the prevailing macroeconomic uncertainties and the challenges within the aviation industry, it will not be distributing an interim dividend. However, MIA noted that this position will be reviewed at the end of 2022 when it would be in a better position to assess the situation against the targets established for the year.
While the aviation industry’s recovery has so far been strong, airline and airport operators continue to navigate a very challenging landscape characterised by industrial actions, staff shortages and other operational constraints, all of which may deal consumer confidence new blows. As flight cancellations and disruptions across Europe make the headlines more often, MIA remains committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that the operation continues to run as smoothly as possible throughout the summer months and beyond.
In addition to industry-specific challenges, a combination of economic and geopolitical factors, including the steep rise in inflation rates, rising fuel costs, diminished disposable income and the ongoing war in Ukraine, may have an impact on travel demand during the upcoming winter season and determine a shift in airline pricing.
Changes in consumer behaviour brought about by the pandemic are still being observed, with some passengers still opting for short booking windows, particularly in markets such as Italy and Spain. Whilst this has improved, shorter planning cycles also continue to be favoured by airlines, with this trend possibly extending into the medium term.
Amid these challenges, MIA and the Malta Tourism Authority remain in close contact with partner airlines with the aim of continuing to restore connectivity for the Maltese Islands, analyse new opportunities and address gaps in strategic markets. Since some existing routes remain underserved, MIA is also working towards securing increased flight frequencies on these routes and extensions of the operating periods.
For the first time in two years, MIA noted that it has enough visibility of the way ahead to issue a reliable forecast to the market. In this respect, MIA outlined the following targets for the 2022 financial year:
- Passenger movements of over 5.4 million (2019: 7.31 million)
- Revenues of over €82 million (2019: €100.2 million)
- EBITDA of over €50 million (2019: €63.2 million)
- Net profit of over €23 million (2019: €33.9 million)
- Capital investments of over €15 million (2019: €24.9 million)