GO recommends record ordinary dividend
The MSE Equity Price Index shed 0.35% to 3,828.505 points as the declines in MIA, MaltaPost, RS2 and Farsons outweighed the gains in GO. Meanwhile, BMIT, BOV, HSBC and MPC all closed unchanged as trading activity surged to €0.46 million, largely on the back of heightened activity in GO and MIA which accounted for 69.5% of today’s total value traded. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
GO plc climbed by just under 3% to close at a fresh 2-month high of €3.50 across 58,489 shares. Yesterday afternoon, GO published its 2020 financial results showing a 4.2% increase in revenues to a record €185.2 million as the higher contributions from the Group’s subsidiary in Cyprus – Cablenet Communication Systems plc as well as BMIT Technologies plc outweighed the marginal drop of 0.9% in sales from the local telecommunications segment to €117 million. Meanwhile, normalised EBITDA (excludes the impact of voluntary retirement costs) increased by 1.7% to €77.1 million whilst GO’s financial performance was also boosted by a €3.1 million gain on the disposal of the shares in Forthnet S.A. after this investment was entirely written-off in previous years. Overall, GO reported a 13.6% increase in profit after tax to €13.3 million. GO are recommending a net dividend of €0.16 per share which is the highest ordinary cash dividend. This is payable on 31 May 2021 to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 23 April 2021 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held remotely on 27 May 2021.
Bank of Valletta plc closed unchanged at the €0.91 level as 65,387 shares changed hands.
Similarly, HSBC Bank Malta plc held onto the €0.84 level across 2,430 shares. Shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 18 March 2021 will be entitled to the recently recommended final net dividend of €0.00754 per share.
Malta Properties Company plc traded flat at the €0.525 level across insignificant volumes.
Meanwhile, BMIT Technologies plc traded unchanged at the €0.53 level across 26,593 shares. On Tuesday, BMIT published its 2020 financial results whereby it reported a 6.4% increase in profit before tax to €7.6 million. Furthermore, the Board of Directors are recommending a final net dividend of €0.02922 per share (+35% over last year). The final net dividend will be paid on 28 May 2021 to all shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 22 April 2021.
In the same sector, RS2 Software plc shed 1.7% to the €1.77 level as 26,535 shares changed hands.
Also among the large cap stocks, Malta International Airport plc lost a further 2.5% as it closed at a 15-week low of €5.75 across heightened activity of 20,280 shares.
A single deal of 1,900 shares forced Simonds Farsons Cisk plc 1.3% lower to the €7.90 level.
MaltaPost plc lost 5.7% as it returned to the €1.15 level across 2,972 shares. Today, MaltaPost will be paying out a final dividend of €0.04 per share.
Yesterday, Malita Investments plc published its 2020 financial results showing a 5% increase in revenues to a record €8.75 million. The increase in revenue was driven by the first full year increase in ground rent receivable from the Valletta Cruise Port (“VCP”) which was increased in November 2019 as per contractual review as well as contractual increases by the index of inflation in lease payments for the Open Air Theatre and Parliament Building in Valletta. However, Malita’s 2020 financial performance was impacted by the significantly lower incidence of positive fair value movements of investment properties as these amounted to €4.6 million when compared to €34.7 million in the previous year. Overall, Malita registered a pre-tax profit of €11.5 million (2019: €41.3 million). Meanwhile, 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 Wednesday 7 April 2021. The final dividend will be paid on Tuesday 18 May 2021 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday 11 May 2021.
The RF MGS Index rose for the fifth day in succession as it added a further 0.05% to 1,119.208 points. Today, the head of Germany’s public health agency warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections has already begun. The announcement comes at a time when the country has started to gradually relax social restrictions, amid a government-led effort to speed up its vaccination roll out to as many adults as possible. Meanwhile, Italy looks set to impose another near national lockdown from 15 March until 6 April in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.