Daily Market Highlights (18.05.2023)
Farsons posts record revenue and profits
The MSE Equity Price Index fell by 0.26% to 3,668.176 points as the declines in BOV and VBL offset the gains in MIA, APS and Farsons. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.
Simonds Farsons Cisk plc was today’s most actively traded equity as it advanced by 1.4% to a near 2-month high of €7.10 across three trades totalling 6,300 shares. Today, Farsons published its annual results for the year ended 31 January 2023. Revenues surged by 28.8% to a record of €118.2 million (FY2021/22: €91.8 million) which, in turn, is 14.2% higher than the record of €103.5 million posted in the 2019/20 financial year. Total costs increased by 29.7% to €101.6 million but given the sharper increase in revenues than costs in absolute terms, operating profit increased by 24.1% to €16.7 million (FY2021/22: €13.4 million, FY2019/20: €13.7 million). However, the operating profit margin eased to 14.1% from 14.7% in the previous financial year, albeit it remained higher than the 13.2% level achieved in FY2019/20. Overall, the Group posted a net profit of €15.4 million which translates into a return on average equity of 11.5% (FY2021/22: 10.0%). Following the net interim dividend of €0.045 per share paid in October 2022, the Directors of Farsons resolved to recommend an additional final net dividend out of tax-exempt profits of €0.11 per share. The dividend will be paid on 16 June 2023 to shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 23 May 2023, subject to approval at the upcoming AGM to be held on Thursday 15 June 2022. The total dividend for the 2022/23 financial year thus equates to €0.155 per share. The Board of Directors also announced that they are carrying out a strategic review of opportunities for the further expansion of the Group’s foods business and considering the potential structuring of the enlarged food operations in a separate listed entity.
Malta International Airport plc gained 0.9% to the €5.50 level on four trades totalling 1,190 shares.
APS Bank plc was today’s best performing equity as it surged 3.3% to the €0.62 level on four trades totalling 10,313 shares. On Tuesday, APS held its AGM during which all resolutions were approved including the authorisation to directors to issue debt securities up to €150 million in nominal value. During the meeting it was revealed that a large majority of shareholders elected to receive the final dividend in shares rather than in cash.
Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc fell by 3.5% to the €1.09 level as 26,951 shares exchanged hands. BOV will be holding its Annual General Meeting on 25 May.
A single trade of 12,000 shares pulled down the share price of VBL plc by 4.8% to the €0.20 level.
The Convenience Shop (Holding) plc traded for the first time following its IPO as it held the offer price of €0.97 on a single deal of 5,000 shares.
The RF MGS Index shed 0.27% to 847.154 points. International bond markets continued to be influenced by the latest developments related to the US debt ceiling. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy stated that he is confident that a deal could be reached by next week while President Joe Biden also indicated that top-level members of Congress have agreed that the US will not default. Meanwhile in the UK, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey expressed concerns that the country is still facing huge inflationary pressures within the labour market. Looking ahead, he explained that the Bank of England sees signs of a slowdown in wage growth but services inflation still remains elevated.
This report contains public information only and is not to be construed as investment advice or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Information contained herein is based on data obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but no representations or guarantees are made with regard to the accuracy of the data. Stock markets are volatile and subject to fluctuations which cannot be reasonably foreseen. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Rizzo, Farrugia & Co. (Stockbrokers) Limited is a company licensed to undertake investment services in Malta by the MFSA under the Investment Services Act, Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta and a member of the Malta Stock Exchange.