Maroc Telecom, the country’s leading telco in terms of subscribers, has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2015, reporting a 10.2% increase in revenues, from MAD7.206 billion (USD719.3 million) to MAD7.942 billion. The improvement was attributed to the consolidation of its newly acquired West African units operating in Benin, Central African Republic (CAR), Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Togo. When excluding the impact of the expansion, revenues were down 0.7% in the three months to end-March, with a 5.9% annual growth among the company’s international operations partly offsetting the 3.1% slump in turnover in the group’s domestic market. Meanwhile, Maroc Telecom’s EBITDA increased by 2.2% in the period under review, to MAD4.026 billion; on a like-for-like basis EBITDA declined 2.0%, with the fall attributed to a 8.1% decline in the Moroccan unit’s EBITDA, although this was partly compensated by a 14.0% increase in EBITDA from the company’s international operations. Maroc Telecom’s consolidated earnings from operations reached MAD2.558 billion at 31 March 2015, a 4.0% decrease year-on-year, while net income amounted to MAD1.316 billion, down by 10.2% when compared to Q1 2014.
In operational terms, Maroc Telecom reported annualised growth of 32.0% for its consolidated customer base, with the total number of customers reaching the 52 million mark at end-March 2015. In Morocco, wireless subscribers marginally decreased by 0.9% y-o-y to reach 18.165 million, down from 18.327 million in 2014; the telco’s 3G user base grew by 88.9% to 4.983 million, while broadband customers increased by 16.0% y-o-y to pass the one million milestone. In Mauritania, wireless numbers increased by 8.3% to 2.018 million users, while broadband subscriptions increased by 15.7% to roughly 9,000. In Burkina Faso, the Office Nationale des Telecommunications (Onatel) saw its mobile subscribers increase by 22.7% y-o-y to reach 6.156 million by 31 March, while Gabon Telecom reported a 12.1% annual growth in its wireless users to 1.164 million. Further, mobile subscriber increases were also seen in Mali (11.171 million, up 8.6%) and Benin (2.955 million, 13.8%), though Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic and Moov Gabon all reported declines in their wireless subscription bases.
Abdeslam Ahizoune, chairman of Maroc Telecom’s management board, stated: ‘This quarter was marked by finalising the acquisition of six new operators in Africa and the launch of many projects allowing us to quickly take over their operational control. These new subsidiaries enable the significant boosting of the Maroc Telecom group’s presence in markets with significant growth potential, together with the development of business activities in Morocco, where Maroc Telecom is planning major investment after assignation of the 4G licence. This is with a view of strengthening its technological leadership and promoting the growth of mobile high-speed broadband across the whole country.’