Moroccan full-service telco Maroc Telecom, majority-owned by France’s Vivendi, has posted a 1% year-on-year fall in 2009 net income to MAD9.43 billion (USD1.15 billion) on consolidated revenues that climbed by 2.8% to MAD30.34 billion, as it increased spending, especially in the mobile segment. Group EBITDA for the year rose by 2.9% to MAD18.15 billion.
Operations in Morocco generated net revenues of MAD25.76 billion in 2009, up 0.1% versus 2008, EBITDA of MAD16.16 billion, down 1.5%, and earnings from operations of MAD13.08 billion, down 3.5% year-on-year, chiefly due to the impact of promotional initiatives deployed to stimulate the market and maintain its leading position. Maroc Telecom’s domestic mobile subscriber base grew by 5.6% in twelve months to 15.27 million at end-December 2009, whilst it had 1.234 million Moroccan fixed lines in service at year-end, down 5% year-on-year, due mainly to shrinkage in the residential customer base (down 8.8%) resulting from mobile substitution. At end-December the telco had 469,000 ADSL subscribers, down 1.7% compared to the same date in 2008. However, it also signed up 174,000 3G/3.5G mobile broadband customers on its W-CDMA/HSPA-based cellular network by year-end, up from less than 30,000 a year earlier.
Group-wide, the operator had a total of 21.7 million customers at end-2009, up 12.6% year on year, reflecting the inclusion of Malian operator SOTELMA, the resurgence in domestic mobile growth and continued year-on-year expansion of other subsidiaries’ mobile customer bases in Gabon, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. A statement from the company read: ‘Based on current market conditions, and barring any unforeseen disruptions to the group’s operations, Maroc Telecom will achieve moderate growth in revenues in 2010, driven mainly by growth of subsidiaries.’