Maroc Telecom (IAM) has published its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2019, reporting a 0.5% decrease in revenues from MAD17.939 billion (USD1.86 billion) to MAD17.844 billion, attributed to a 4.0% drop in sales generated by the group’s international operations, which was partly offset by a 1.4% increase in revenues in its domestic market. The telco’s six-month EBITDA increased by 6.2% year-on-year to MAD9.409 billion, fuelled by a 10.7% growth in pre-tax earnings from domestic operations, despite a 1.4% decrease in its subsidiaries’ EBITDA contribution. IAM’s consolidated earnings from operations reached MAD5.862 billion in 1H19, a 5.8% increase y-o-y, while the group’s share of adjusted net income amounted to MAD3.022 billion, up by 1.0% when compared to 1H18. CAPEX including frequencies and licence costs amounted to MAD3.227 million at the end of June 2019, down 10.3% y-o-y.
The group also disclosed that as part of the implementation of the 2019 Budget Act, the Moroccan government divested 8% of the capital and voting rights in IAM in the form of blocks of shares on 17 June 2019 (equivalent to 6% of the capital); a public offer sale was closed on 16 July 2019 (2% of the capital). After the completion of the transaction, the Kingdom of Morocco holds 22% of the capital and voting rights in Maroc Telecom.
In operational terms, the group reported annualised growth of 3.9% for its consolidated customer base, with the total reaching 63 million connections at end-June 2019. In Morocco, wireless subscribers increased by 3.2% y-o-y to reach 19.547 million, up from 18.935 million in 2Q18; the telco’s 3G/4G user base passed 11.119 million (up by 10.3% y-o-y), while broadband customers increased by 6.2% y-o-y to 1.529 million. In Niger, wireless accesses increased by 23.6% to 2.810 million, while Togo saw a sizeable 14.5% y-o-y rise in mobile subscribers to 3.608 million at 30 June. Furthermore, mobile subscriber growth was also reported in Cote d’Ivoire (8.899 million, up 9.0%), Mauritania (2.389 million, 10.6%), Burkina Faso (8.020 million, 6.6%) and Central African Republic (153,000, 4.1%), while Mali and Benin reported annual declines of 10.5% (7.270 million) and 0.5% (4.362 million), respectively.
Abdeslam Ahizoune, Chairman of IAM’s Management Board, commented: ‘Maroc Telecom achieved better-than-target results in the first half of 2019, thanks in part to the success of Data in all its markets, despite the strong competitive intensity. Profitability is improving significantly thanks to cost optimisation efforts, which offset the increasing sectoral tax pressure in some subsidiaries’ countries.’