Farsons generates record interim profits
The MSE Equity Price Index declined by 0.51% to 3,683.443 points as the declines in APS and IHI outweighed the gain in HSBC. Meanwhile, two other equities closed unchanged as the total trading activity in local equities was muted at a one-month low of just €0.02 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.
Yesterday afternoon, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc published its interim results covering the six-month period ended 31 July 2023. Revenues increased to a new interim record of €65.2 million which is 13.8% higher than the same period last year, reflecting growth in all its business segments. Operating expenses grew by 15.6% to €56.5 million, nonetheless, operating profit still increased by 3.4% to a record €8.8 million (H1 2021/22: €8.5 million), but the operating profit margin eased to 13.4% compared to 14.8% in the previous financial year. Farsons reported a net profit of €7.5 million which translates into an annualised return on average equity of 10.9%. Farsons resolved to distribute a net interim dividend of €0.05 per share which is an 11.1% increase from the €0.045 which was paid out last year. The interim dividend distribution translates into a payout ratio of 23.9% relatively in line with that of H1 2021/2022. The dividend is payable on 18 October 2023 to all shareholders as of the close of trading on 2 October 2023.
International Hotel Investments plc erased most of yesterday’s gains as it retracted by 6.4% back to the €0.51 level on a single trade of 3,500 shares. Today, IHI published a prospectus in relation to a new €60 million of unsecured bonds maturing in 2033 having a coupon of 6%. The net proceeds will principally be used for redemption and cancellation of the 5.8% IHI plc 2023 and 6.0% IHI plc 2024 unsecured bonds. Preference will be given to bondholders of the maturing bonds. An amount of up to €15 million and the balance not subscribed by maturing bondholders will be offered at a preference to existing IHI Bondholders (including additional amounts from Maturing Bondholders), IHI Shareholders, CPHCL bondholders, MIH bondholders, and Corinthia Group Personnel.
APS Bank plc reversed yesterday’s gains as it declined by 1.6% back to the €0.60 level across three trades totalling 7,796 shares.
In contrast, HSBC Bank Malta plc gained 0.9% to a one-week high of €1.17 on a single deal of 618 shares.
FIMBank plc traded flat at the USD0.22 level on two trades totalling 36,000 shares.
Lombard Bank Malta plc closed unchanged at the €0.80 level, albeit on trivial volumes.
The RF MGS Index shed 0.4% to a fresh all-time low of 852.690 points. The eurozone sovereign bond yields extended their recent gains with the German 10-year bund yield exceeded the 2.95%, the highest level in twelve years. Similarly, the 10-year US treasury yield climbed to a sixteen-year high of 4.65%. Preliminary data for Germany released today showed that inflation in September is expected to ease to 4.3% from 6.4% in the previous month. As such, the forecasted inflation for September is now 0.2 percentage points lower than previous projections and marks the lowest level since February 2022.
Yesterday, AX Group plc announced the approval of €40 million unsecured bonds maturing in 2033 having a coupon of 5.85%. The company will be granting preference to holders of the 6% AX Investments plc unsecured bonds 2024 to subscribe to the new bonds. The remaining balance will be offered to holders of AX Group securities as at close of trading on 19 September 2023 as well as employees and directors of AX Group companies.
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.