Mpico Limited shareholders will not be paid an interim dividend despite the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed property management firm posting a K307 million (about $7.6m) after-tax profit in the half year ending June 30 2013 from a loss of K275.3 million (about $687 000).
The group, which has acknowledged that it operated in a “challenging environment”, has seen its half year total income growing by a paltry three percent to K753 million (about $1.8m) from K728 million (about $1.8m) same period last year.
The firm is building a K10 billion (about $25m) worth Gateway Shopping Mall to cover 18 000 square metre in Lilongwe’s low density suburb of Area 47, whose construction deadline has been pushed further to March 2014 from October this year.
In a statement accompanying the financial results, the group says the huge variation in the results of the two periods is a result of write down in the mall which was carried out in June 2012.
“In June 2013, the board assessed the value of the mall and is satisfied that there is no need for another write down. The group will undertake to value all its properties, including the mall at the end of the year,” says a statement jointly signed by board chairperson Dye Mawindo and one of the directors Stewart Malata.
The group’s assets in the year have jumped to K21.4 billion (about $52.5m) from K18 billion (about $45m) same period last year.
Going forward, the company’s board is hopeful that the economy will continue to respond to efforts initiated by the government in its economic recovery plan.
It said already, the inflation rate, currently at 23.3 percent as of August, exchange and interest rates are responding to the recovery plan and expect 2013 second half results to be maintained.
“Works on the Mpico Gateway Mall have resumed. Roofing is progressing well and is expected to be completed before the coming rainy season,” says the statement.
The mall is being built in an area that is experiencing rapid middle and upper income residential growth.
Property analysts argue that the capital city seems to be one of fastest growing urban regions in the country.
The company has recently appointed Peter du Plessis as the property giant’s managing director, taking over from Gray Nthinda, who has been at the helm for the past years.
He is a chartered accountant and brings a wealth of experience to Mpico group, having previously worked for Old Mutual Life Assurance Society from 1987 to 2012 in a number of capacities including those of regional property manager and managing director of Old Mutual Investment administrators.
Mpico Limited listed on the MSE in 2007 after the Privatisation Commission (PC), now the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) ,recommended the disposal of Malawi Development Corporation (MDC) shares in Mpico through initial public offering (IPO), the issuing of common stocks or shares to the public for the first time.
The firm with 1.1 billion shares on issue traded at K2 on Thursday.