Maroc Telecom’s growth expectations for 2014 have been fulfilled as the net income of Morocco’s leading telecommunications group increased by 5.6% to MAD 5.850 billion compared to MAD 5.540 billion a year earlier, i.e. a net margin of 20.1% in progress by 0.7 points.
Last year, the consolidated revenue of Itissalat Al Maghrib or IAM (acronym in Arabic of the group) was slightly higher as it rose by 2.1% to 29.14 billion dirhams, or 2.69 billion euros.
At the level of the domestic market, subject to strong competition from the two other telecom operators, Méditel and Inwi, IAM’s turnover has actually declined by 0.8% last year to MAD 21.1 billion and EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) fell by 5.9% to MAD 11.57 billion.
“The year 2014 was marked by return to growth in revenue and net profit. Maroc Telecom is thus reaping the benefits of the significant investments it injected in broadband and very high speed access (mobile and fixed)” said the group’s CEO, Abdeslam Ahizoune, in a press release presenting on Monday the financial results for the year 2014.
The continuation of the performance could be however impacted by the uncertain evolution of the regulatory environment, he conceded.
The 2014 performance was possible mainly thanks to the net growth of the returns of the group’s subsidiaries in Gabon, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania. The African subsidiaries scored a growth of 11.3% to MAD 8.61 billion. But this segment’s EBITDA recorded only a 5.4% growth, i.e. an EBITDA margin of 47.7% down by 2.7 points.
The figures do not include the recently acquired subsidiaries of Etisalat, the new majority shareholder of Maroc Telecom, in six West African countries, namely Benin, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Niger, and Togo.
In this regard, Mr. Ahizoune said, “with the acquisition of six new African operators, Maroc Telecom strengthens the strategic positioning of its International operations in high-growth areas earmarking substantial investments for infrastructure and services, and this is likely to support the platform of Maroc Telecom, one of the most successful in Africa. “
In its press release, Maroc Telecom announced that Etisalat agreed to extend it, over four years, an interest-free financing of $ 200 million as a contribution to the investments required for the newly acquired six operators. The turnover of these six subsidiaries amounted to €455 million in 2014.
Maroc Telecom recorded another performance in 2014 regarding its net debt which dropped by 26.2% to MAD 5.3 billion, or 0.41 times its Ebitda. According to the press release, the pro-forma debt at the end of 2014, following the acquisition of the six African subsidiaries, stood at MAD 11.36 billion (0.7 times Ebitda).
With more than 20.4 million customers in Morocco, the group remains leader in all its business segments, fixed, mobile and internet. In the mobile segment, Maroc Telecom holds 41.53% of active lines before Méditel (30.74%) and Inwi (27.73%) It controls 99% of the ADSL market. The number of its overall customs, at home and in West Africa, exceeds 40 million.
Maroc Telecom is listed on the stock exchanges in Casablanca and Paris. At the announcement of the 2014 results, the group’s securities registered a slight increase of 0.5%.