Daily Market Highlights (20.12.2023)

MaltaPost posts rebound in profitability


The MSE Equity Price Index eased by 0.07% to 3,696.571 points as the declines in BMIT, IHI, PG and Farsons outweighed the gains in four other equities. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Yesterday evening, MaltaPost plc published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the financial year ended 30 September 2023. Revenues rebounded by 25.7% to €39.6 million largely reflecting the higher levels of international cross-border postal sales, which amounted to €20.6 million compared to €13.3 million in the previous year. MaltaPost registered an operating profit of €2.63 million compared to the €0.99 million figure in the previous financial year. Net profits attributable to MaltaPost’s shareholders amounted to €1.85 million compared to €0.27 million in the previous financial year. The Directors recommended an unchanged (share spit-adjusted) final net dividend of €0.02 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 8 January 2024. The dividend will be paid on 8 March 2024 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 9 February 2024. The Directors are giving shareholders the option to receive the dividend either in cash or by the issue of new shares at the attribution price of €0.44 per share.

PG plc lost some of yesterday’s gains as it retracted by 3.7% to the €2.10 level on a single trade of 12,000 shares. On Monday, PG published its interim financial results for the six-month period ended 31 October 2023. Revenue increased by 19.1% to a new record (at interim stage) of €96.2 million (FY2022/23 €80.8 million). Operating costs increased by 19.4% to €85.4 million reflecting the overall growth in business as well as the impact of the Group’s decision to absorb an element of the cost price increases to maintain its competitiveness. Nonetheless, the operating profit in absolute terms increased by 16.9% to €10.9 million compared to €9.30 million in the same period last year, which translates into a marginally lower EBIT margin of 11.3% compared to 11.5% in H1 2022/23. Overall, PG reported a pre-tax profit of €10.1 million. After accounting for a tax charge of €2.89 million, PG’s net profit amounted to €7.21 million, which is 18.2% higher than the €6.10 million figure reported for H1 2022/23. The net profit reported during the period under review translates into an annualised return on equity of 23.4% compared to 22.1% in H1 2022/23.

Also among the large companies by market capitalisation, International Hotel Investments plc fell by 4.3% to the €0.44 level on one deal of 28,562 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc eased by 0.7% to the €6.85 level on low volumes.

BMIT Technologies plc dropped by 9.5% to the €0.362 level across three deals totalling 4,970 shares.

In contrast, BMIT’s parent company – GO plc – advanced by 3.5% to the €2.92 level across three trades totalling 6,800 shares.

Bank of Valletta plc climbed by a further 0.8% to the €1.27 level across four deals totalling 40,000 shares. Yesterday, BOV announced that the Bank entered into an assignment agreement pursuant to which it has assigned its rights, title, interest and benefits of a portfolio of long-standing Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) for a consideration of €26 million. The bank explained that the consideration reflects, amongst other things, the reduced creditworthiness of the underlying borrowers, the recovery risk inherent in the Portfolio and the cost to acquire and manage the Portfolio over the recovery period. The Portfolio is composed of 707 non-performing loans across 245 borrowers, mostly relating to commercial loans but also includes personal loans, credit card loans, home loans, encroached savings and current accounts and other debts. BOV noted that 90% of the loans have been in default for five years or more. The transaction is expected to have a positive impact of approximately €18 million on the Bank’s profitability for financial year 2023.

Within the same sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc moved 0.8% higher to the €1.28 level as 7,021 shares changed hands.

Malta Properties Company plc rebounded by 26.5% to the €0.382 level across four deals totalling 13,335 shares.

The RF MGS Index moved higher by a further 0.5% to 905.426 points, boosted by the increase in bid prices for longer-dated MGS as yields across the longer-end of the yield curve continued to move lower. Data published today showed that inflation in the UK fell by more than expected in November to 3.9% compared to estimates of 4.4%. November’s reading marks the lowest annual inflation reading since September 2021. Elsewhere in Germany, the consumer climate is forecasted to improve in January 2024 when compared to December 2023, albeit it is still in negative territory. The German 10-year bund yield dropped to below the 2% level for the first time in over the year as yields across the eurozone sovereign bond market continued to fall.


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.