MIA shareholders get no dividends for second year but directors praised for physical AGM

Malta International Airport holds its 30th AGM • Shareholders approve financial results, including no dividend disbursement for second year running

MIA declared a net profit of €7 million last year and expects 2022 to be a good year
MIA declared a net profit of €7 million last year and expects 2022 to be a good year

Malta International Airport directors came in for glowing praise by a representative of small shareholders for holding a physical annual general meeting today.

The comment from the floor, which was the only intervention, did not refer to any particular company but was interpreted as an indirect reprimand to Bank of Valletta that is insisting on holding its AGM online despite COVID-19 restrictions being lifted.

MIA held its 30th AGM on Wednesday in hybrid format with shareholders being able to attend physically or follow proceedings online.

A representative of the Malta Association of Small Shareholders thanked the MIA board and the CEO for the hybrid model AGM, which strayed away from “the trend adopted by other companies that are insisting on holding their meetings only online”.

BOV is facing growing pressure from shareholders to hold a physical meeting so that they could seek answers on the bank’s decision to reach an out of court settlement in the Deiulemar case. The bank has so far refused these demands.

For the second year running, MIA shareholders approved a resolution that recommended no dividend be paid out in the wake of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the airport.

€7m net profit despite pandemic impact

MIA CEO Alan Borg gave an overview of the company’s performance in 2021, which showed how the company managed a net profit of €7 million despite registering just a third of 2019 passenger movements.

The company registered 2.54 million passenger movements, which represented a recovery of 35% over the pre-pandemic 2019 traffic results. However, Borg noted that passenger traffic was at 2002 levels.

Borg said performance was conditioned by COVID restrictions across Europe and the lack of coordination by the different countries, which hit consumer confidence.

MIA recorded €47.4 million in revenue and earnings per share stood at 0.052c.

Cost cutting, including the non-replacement of retiring workers and a percentage pay cut for all employees at the start of 2021, and non-aviation revenue helped buoy the company.

The airport headcount stood at 329 by end 2021, down from 377 a year earlier. Staff wages cost €6.7 million.

MIA’s market capitalisation dropped by 3%, Borg said but it still remains the largest on the Malta Stock Exchange.

The primary markets were Italy, the UK, Germany, France and Poland with Ryanair having a 44% market share, followed by Air Malta at 23.5%.

Tough first quarter but good prospects in 2022

Looking at the start of 2022, Borg said the first quarter was “tough” because of the impact the Omicron variant had across Europe. In the first three months MIA recorded 672,965 passenger movements.

However, April brought a bonanza. “The start month has been April with the lifting of restrictions and the Esater holidays the seat load factor reached 77.8% and passenger movements clocked in at 513,000,” Borg said. “We hope to see this trend moving forward throughout the year.”

MIA only recently inaugurated the first part of a €2 million investment in a new food court with an extended footprint and will pursue the investment in SkyParks 2 and Apron X.

SkyParks 2 is a new mixed office block that also incorporates an airport hotel and will be built on the site of the current petrol station over an area of 4,600sq.m.  Borg said the procurement process will start shortly.

On the development of Apron X, Borg said the €40 million investment will create new aircraft parking space to cater for seven Code-C aircraft or three Code-E airplanes.

“The war in Ukraine brings uncertainty and will impact purchasing power in core markets as inflation eats away at incomes but I believe 2022 will be a good year for MIA,” Borg concluded.

Shareholders approved all resolutions put to them by the board.