Company Announcements – April 2006

The half – yearly report published on Thursday the 27th of April 2006 portrayed appositive results for Bank of Valletta p.l.c. where for the six months ending on the 31st of March 2006, the group registered a net profit before tax of Lm18.8 million which represents a 92.2% increase when compared to a profit before tax of Lm9.8 million recorded for the prior six months. The major factors contributing to such favourable results include the strong performance from Financial and Investments, the sales on investment and other banking products, loan book growth and the reduction in the charge for impairment amongst others.  A gross interim dividend of 5.5 cents per share has also been declared by the Board of Directors which will be eligible to all the shareholders on the company’s register as at Monday the 8th of May 2006.  This interim dividend will be received on the 30th of May 2006.  On Friday the 28th of April, Middlesea Insurance plc published their financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2006 recording a profit before tax of Lm6.5 million representing an increase of 79% over last years profits of Lm3.6. A 2 for 1 share split was also announced by the Board of Directors and recommended a final dividend of 0.07c per share and a special dividend of 0.03c per share to commemorate the Company’s 25th Anniversary.  The cut-off date in order to be eligible for such dividends is on Tuesday 16th of May 2006. International Hotel Investments p.l.c. and Simonds Farsons Cisk p.l.c on the 26th of April have published their full-year financial results for 2005.  IHI p.l.c announced that its group operating profit for 2005 before adjustments had improved by Euros 2.49 million compared to the previous year.  The major factors that contributed to such good performances where the better operational results registered by the hotels and also the partial reversal of impairment charges amounting to a total of Euro 5.47million compared to the Euro 2.17 million taken in 2004.  Another factor leading to these positive results was the strengthened value attributable to the Group’s land amounting to Euros 2.40 million. As for Simonds Farsons Cisk p.l.c. for the financial year ended 31st January 2006        the group’s recorded profit from continuing operations amounted to Lm752,000 while profit after accounting for losses from discontinued operations amounted to Lm210,000, 6.5% less compared to the Lm609,000 generated in 2005.  Turnover decreased by Lm2,616 to Lm26,189.  Meanwhile the company is confident that better levels of profitability will be attained once certain measures are put into action such as the selling of the Galleria Shopping Complex, a downsizing and reorganization of Guido Vella Ltd and a cost-cutting exercise together with an early retirement scheme.  The Board of Directors announced that those shareholders who are on the register of members of the Company as at the 8th of May 2006 will receive a net interim dividend of 0.194c per share and also recommended the distribution of a final net dividend of 0.972c per share for which the cut-off date will be the 31st of May.  The total net dividend is equivalent to 1c1 per share and will be paid to the shareholders by not later than the 30th of June 2006.