28 May 2021
– Board recommends 16-cent dividend, the highest ever paid out
– Group generates revenue of €185.2, an increase of €7.4 million
– GO reports €20.9 million profit before tax
During the Annual General Meeting held this morning, GO announced a strong financial performance, despite the ongoing challenges, with targets being met and consequently recommended a 16-cent final net dividend for the financial year 2020, the highest dividend ever paid out to shareholders.
The company also announced that earlier this month it submitted an application for admissibility to listing of a €60 million 2031 bond issue which will be available for subscription by GO shareholders on a preferential basis. The application was approved earlier this week.
GO Chairman Samir Saied said that 2020 proved how vital GO’s constant investment in its digital infrastructure has been, as it enabled the company to ensure fast, reliable and resilient connectivity, allowing people to remain emotionally connected during times when physical and social interaction was limited.
“Like many other businesses, we had to be agile, innovative and responsive to keep people and businesses – connected to what matters most to them. We reacted swiftly to the pandemic, rolling out several customer-centric initiatives to ensure that everyone, even non-GO customers, remained connected. The challenges made us even more determined as a Group to continue delivering immense value to our shareholders, and the Maltese community,” added Mr Saied.
Addressing the 23rd AGM, Chief Executive Officer Nikhil Patil reiterated how GO remains one of the best performing publicly listed companies in Malta.
“Over a five-year period, between 2016 and 2020, GO’s total shareholder return averaged 8.31% on an annualised basis which equates to close to €104.5 in dividends paid, excellent financial results obtained notwithstanding the period of intense organisational transformation.”
Mr Patil explained how despite the significant drop in international roaming traffic due to the travel restrictions which led to GO’s local telecommunications segment suffering a marginal decline of 0.9% compared to 2019, the Group still went on to generate revenue of €185.2 million, an increase of €7.4 million over the comparative year and a profit before tax of €20.9 million.
“Our past and present investments continue to deliver additional value to GO and this year we invested €68.3 million, which is €19.1 million higher than the previous year,” outlined Mr Patil.
Mr Patil went on to explain how whilst weathering the pandemic and supporting the community, GO still remained focused on its strategy as it successfully executed its top priorities for 2020 and delivered strong results across its four strategic pillars namely investing in a digital Malta, providing the best customer experience, becoming a digital enterprise, and minimising its environmental impact.
“In line with its investment in a digital Malta, GO continued to roll out its future proof technology to a further 25,000 homes and today, more than 150,000 homes have the opportunity to enjoy ultra-fast digital services from our Fibre-to-the-Home network. Works are also underway on a third submarine cable which will make us the first operator in Malta to have links to France and Egypt, and completely transform the digital connectivity map of Malta..”
“Focusing on providing the best customer experience, GO welcomed 5300 new broadband customers and 9500 mobile customers giving us the biggest market share in Malta by delivering greater value through products such as Android TV, Easy Buy and Smart WiFi.”
“The third pillar is centred on becoming a digital enterprise because if we are going to stay true to our purpose to drive a digital Malta, we need to digitise ourselves. Today, around 69% of our customers are interacting with our products and services using our digital channels when 3 years ago, that number was less than 15%,” outlined Mr Patil.
“GO’s final pillar is aimed toward minimising its environmental impact so to become a greener company, we commissioned a detailed study to assess our current carbon footprint and based on the outcomes, we are now committing to reduce our total emissions by 21% by 2024 and 42% by 2029. As we continue to implement a number of targeted initiatives, I am confident we will become a greener and more sustainable company.”
“By obsessing about our customers, we continued to grow market share and revenues, by acting like owners we maintained the utmost cost discipline across the Group, and by working together as one team, we mitigated the impacts of the pandemic and posted strong financial results,” concluded Mr Patil.