In 2018, public corporations registered a surplus of €96.2 million, equivalent to 0.8 per cent of GDP, and a net worth position of €1,562.9 million, corresponding to 12.6 per cent of GDP.
The National Statistics Oﬃce has published for the ﬁrst time the aggregate ﬁnancial statements of Malta’s public corporations for the period 2010-2018, in an eﬀort to continuously make more relevant data available to users and following a recommendation made by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Fiscal Transparency Evaluation Mission to Malta held in 2018.
The data was obtained from the public corporations’ respective audited ﬁnancial statements, which are prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Public corporations are Government-controlled units established by Government, or by other public corporations, as market producers principally engaged in the production of goods, non-ﬁnancial and ﬁnancial services, and are classiﬁed in Non-Financial and Financial sectors rather than in the General Government sector.
In this news release, the focus is on the aggregate position of all public corporations excluding the Central Bank of Malta, a public ﬁnancial corporation by nature.
The reason for its exclusion is that since the Central Bank’s ﬁnancial assets and liabilities are considerably higher than those of other public corporations, its inclusion would weigh too heavily on, and possibly distort, the overall results, the NSO said.
Total revenue of public corporations, excluding the Central Bank, amounted to €1,475.8 million, €96.8 million higher than that registered in the previous year.
The main source of revenue was the income generated from own operations, with a share of 90.4 per cent.
Total expenditure of €1,379.7 million was recorded, an increase of €187.8 million in comparison to 2017.
The primary expenditure items were Direct operating expenses and Wages and salaries, which accounted for 74.0 per cent and 16.7 per cent of total expenditure, respectively.
Between 2010 and 2018, the aggregate ﬁnancial performance of public corporations generally improved, predominantly due to restructuring exercises in some public corporations and better economic conditions, the NSO wrote.
Taking the Central Bank of Malta into consideration, in 2018 the aggregate public corporations surplus amounted to €124.2 million, resulting from revenue of €1,535.5 million and expenditure of €1,411.3 million.
Statement of Financial Position
The total assets of public corporations stood at €3,730.5 million in 2018, with the predominant asset category being non-ﬁnancial assets (66.1 per cent), rather than ﬁnancial assets (33.9 per cent).
All the asset subcategories registered an increase compared to 2017, except for Cash and cash equivalents (-€34.8 million) and Stocks and inventories (-€2.4 million).
On the other hand, ﬁnancial liabilities totaled €2,167.6 million, consisting of Bank borrowings (56.0 per cent), Other liabilities (23.7 per cent) and Trade and other payables (20.3 per cent). Compared to 2017, Other liabilities and Trade and other payables increased by €70.7 million and €29.6 million respectively, while Bank borrowings decreased by €26.2 million (Table 2).
Compared to 2017, the aggregate net worth of public corporations increased by €113.1 million, which resulted from a rise in total assets (+€187.1 million) that outweighed the increase in total liabilities (+€74.0 million).
By 2018, the net worth of public corporations had reached €1,562.9 million, over ﬁ ve times higher than the net worth of €283.6 registered in 2010.
Taking into account all public corporations, including the Central Bank of Malta, in 2018 their net worth stood at €2,027.8 million, resulting from the diﬀerence between total assets of €12,584.3 million and total liabilities of €10,556.5 million.
Analysis by NACE
In 2018, there were 52 public corporations (including the Central Bank of Malta), an increase of five units over 2017, with nine corporations classiﬁed under both the Transportation and storage and Financial and insurance activities sectors.
The sector with the highest revenue and expenditure of public corporations was the Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector, with amounts of €464.1 million and €440.4 million, respectively.
In this respect, other key sectors were the Transport and storage and Wholesale and retail trade sectors.
The Professional, scientiﬁc and technical activities sector recorded the highest public corporations’ surplus, which totaled €30.4 million, followed by the Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector, which registered a surplus of €23.7 million.
The Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector accounted for the highest share of public corporation assets and liabilities, stood at 33.0 per cent and 23.9 per cent, respectively.