Maroc Telecom, the country’s leading telco in terms of subscribers, has published its financial results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2014, reporting a 2.1% annual increase in revenues, from MAD28.559 billion (USD3.0 billion) to MAD29.144 billion. The improvement was chiefly attributed to 10.9% annual growth among the company’s international operations, which offset a 0.8% sales decrease in its domestic market during the same period. Meanwhile, Maroc Telecom’s EBITDA decreased by 6.5% in the period under review, to MAD10.978 billion; the slump was attributed to a 5.9% decline in the Moroccan unit’s EBITDA, although this was partly compensated by a 5.3% increase in EBITDA from the company’s international operations. Maroc Telecom’s consolidated earnings from operations in the period under review reached MAD10.266 billion, a 6.5% decrease year-on-year, while net income amounted to MAD5.850 billion, up by 5.6% when compared to 2013.
The operator also published its outlook for 2015, forecasting stable revenues, a slight decrease in EBITDA, and CAPEX amounting to around 20% of revenues (excluding spectrum, licences and 4G investments in Morocco).
In operational terms, Maroc Telecom reported annualised growth of 8.2% for its consolidated customer base, with the total number of customers passing the 40 million-mark at end-December 2014. In Morocco, wireless subscribers marginally increased by 0.2% y-o-y to reach 18.230 million, up from 18.193 million in 2013; the telco’s wireline user base grew by 7.6% to 1.483 million users, while broadband customers increased by 17.6% y-o-y to 984,000. In Mauritania, wireless numbers increased by 2.87% to 1.922 million users, despite a ‘ban on the sale of unidentified SIM cards by the regulatory authorities’, while broadband subscriptions increased by 9.7% to roughly 8,000. In Burkina Faso, the Office Nationale des Telecommunications (Onatel) saw its mobile subscribers increase by 17.8% y-o-y to reach 5.468 million by 31 December, although its broadband customer base declined by 33.9% to around 16,000. Further, Gabon Telecom reported a 13.6% increase in the number of its mobile users, to 1.183 million, while Mali-based operator Societe des Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) increased its mobile subscriber numbers 19.6% to 10.673 million in 2014, with more than one and a half million net additions in the period under review.
Abdeslam Ahizoune, chairman of Maroc Telecom’s management board, stated: ‘2014 was characterised by a return to revenue and net income growth. Maroc Telecom Group is reaping the benefits of its substantial investments in mobile, fixed-line, and high speed and ultra-high speed internet [services]. The continuance of such investments will depend on the sustainability of the renewed growth and the efficiency of the market which will depend on the stability and visibility of the regulatory environment. With the acquisition of six new African operators, Maroc Telecom is boosting the strategic positioning of its international operations in fast-growing regions, where the continuation of substantial investment programs in infrastructure and services will support Maroc Telecom platform.’