MaltaPost plc announced €700,000 profit before tax for the six months ended 31st March 2023 despite the “unfair financial burden” carried by the company to deliver the Universal Service Obligation (USO). This profit represents a 17 per cent improvement over the same period last year.

The group explained that because of the USO, several postal tariffs did not reflect the true cost of providing certain services and consequently it had to absorb loses to deliver these services. “It was only through strict cost-containment, coupled with revenue generated from outside services covered by the USO, that allowed a slight improvement in the net result.”

Despite the challenges, a net dividend of €0.04 per nominal €0.25 share was approved by the board in the AGM held on 16th February 2023.

Total revenue for the organisation reached €20.5 million, compared to the €15.6 million in the same period last year. MaltaPost attributes this improvement to an increase in international cross-border mail activity which falls outside USO. Inbound-parcel, local single and bulk mail volumes, on the other hand, registered a drop when compared to last year’s figure.

Aggregate expenditure for the six-month period stood at €19.8 million (2022: €15 million), a figure that rose “pro-rata to total revenue, also due to higher cost of airport handling, airfreight and terminal dues coupled with the general impact of inflation.”

Overall the semi-annual cost-to-income rose slightly to 96.1 per cent, compared to the 95.6 per cent of the previous year. This, once again, was attributed to meet the obligations of the USO.

The group’s total net assets stood at slightly below €50 million, whilst total liabilities were €22.3 million. These figures have remained practically unchained from those reported on 30th September.

Cash and cash equivalents were reported at €6.1 million for the six-month period, a slight dip when compared to the €6.3 million of the same period last year.

MaltaPost admit that the outlook for the next six months “remains challenging,” emphasising that a “fair and reasonable” annual tariff adjustment mechanism within the highly regulated USO “has become an immediate must.” It goes on to say that “MaltaPost cannot be expected to carry this unfair financial burden by subsidising services that are qualified under EU legislation as being services that are of General Economic Interest. Well-justified requests for tariff revisions submitted to the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) are still pending, even though postal tariffs in Malta remain the lowest and the most affordable in Europe, while the Quality-of-Service targets set by the national regulator remain among the highest in the EU.”

Highlighting the fact that it employs over 700 staff members and has a responsibility towards over 1,900 shareholders, the group expects the MCA to decide “with urgency” on the company’s tariff revision and compensation requests so as to ensure that Malta “continues to have an efficient postal service.”



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