WEEKLY ROUND UP – 6th -14th December 2004

  Malta Stock Exchange – Weekly Round Up   Closing 6th December to 14th December 2004         The Malta Stock Exchange Index remained largely flat over the period under review given mixed trading in the large capped stocks. International Hotels Investments, Datatrak and Plaza Centres all lost significant ground this week. Bank of Valletta and Malta International Airport registered good gains over the week. Malta International Airport approved and announced its financial statements for the period April to Sept 2004 and also approved an interim net dividend of Lm0.025.     The Malta Stock Exchange Index remained largely flat (0.08%) over the period under review given mixed trading in the large capped stocks. This week there were four gainers, six losers and three equities whose prices remained unchanged. Trading remains focused on the largely capitalised equities namely Bank of Valletta, HSBC, Maltacom and Malta International Airport.   Bank of Valletta posted good gains this week closing the week closing Tuesday’s sessions at Lm4.40c from Lm4.35c. This equates to a weekly gain of 1.15%. 37,835 shares were traded during the week over 44 deals. The year to date return for Bank of Valletta equities has reached a stellar 79%.   HSBC Bank Malta shedded 0.36% this week coming down from its all-time high of Lm8 to Lm7.97c. 44 deals were closed during the week that saw over 45,000 shares being traded. Support for this equity remains very good.   The share price of Lombard bank gained over 3% and was by far the biggest gainer of the week closing at Lm4.26c from Lm4.13c. Volumes remain strong with 23,000 shares being traded over 10 deals. This equity has now achieved a very commendable 15% return on a year to date basis.             Maltacom plc one of the most traded equities on the exchange remained relatively unchanged this week closing at Lm1.45 just 0.1c lower. 26 deals were closed over the week that saw 21,271 shares being traded. The price of this share has come down over the last few week from a level of Lm1.55.   International Hotel Investments and Datatrak were the biggest losers of the week falling 6.13% and 16.96% respectively. It is important to highlight that was no particular news release related to these equities. Investors seemed to have shied away from these particular equities favouring the larger capped stocks.   Malta International Airport was the highlight of the week. The share price has be trading positively and gained 1.82% over the week. This was a result of the fact that the company approved and announced its financial statements for the period April to Sept 2004 and also approved an interim net dividend of Lm0.025.   The Director’s report and financial statements indicate that the company’s turnover for the first six months of the year increased by 16% from Lm8.6m to Lm10m. The company cited an increase in revenue from aviation tariffs which came into effect on the 1st April 2004 as the principal reason for this growth. This increase was also supported by a 6% increase in the traffic for the first six months of the year.   The Company’s operating costs during the six months period under review amounted to Lm5.3 million, a 4.2% drop from the costs incurred during the same period last year. On the cost side the report stated that cost related to security had increased by Lm 230,000. However a reduction in interest payments of 48,000 were registered given lower interest rates and amortisation of Lm238,000.   MIA’s operating profit for the six months ended 30 September 2004 amounted to Lm4.7 million which equates to an  a 51.9% increase over last year’s results. The charge for depreciation and amortisation amounted to Lm761,101. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the period April to September 2004 amounted to Lm5.5 million compared to Lm4.1 million in 2003.   Profit for the period after tax amounted to Lm2.8 million. This equates to an earnings per share (EPS) of 4c14. This was considerably higher given that the EPS was Lm2.49c over the same period last year. The headline figure remains that MIA’s profit before tax for the six month period ended 30 September 2004 totalled Lm4.3 million, representing a 66.5% hike over last’s year’s figures.   Finally the company also announced a net dividend of Lm0.025c. This dividend shall be payable to shareholders that are on the company’s registered as at the 9th December 2004. The current net yield for this equity at a closing price of Lm1.12 now stands at 2.23% The Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio weighs in at 47. The total yearly gains for MIA shares presently stands at 60% making it the second best performer on the exchange after Bank of Valletta.          This report was issued by the Research Unit of Jesmond Mizzi Financial Services Limited. For further information please call at our offices on 21224410 or email [email protected]  This article does not intend to give investment advice and the contents therein should not be construed as such. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice regarding their personal financial situation. The value of investments can go down as well as up.  Past performance is no guarantee for future performance. Jesmond Mizzi Financial Services Limited is licensed to conduct investment services by the Malta Financial Services Authority