Maroc Telecom Group’s revenues for the first quarter declined by 4.7 percent year-on-year to MAD 7.18 billion. The group attributed the slump in revenue to slower consumer spending in Morocco, where revenues fell 7.5 percent. This was partially offset by 7 percent growth at its international activities. The customer base reached nearly 34 million at 31 March, up 14.1 percent year-on-year, led by growth at the international business, which grew by 32 percent to 14 million customers.
EBITDA amounted to MAD 4.23 billion, an increase of 0.1 percent, and the EBITDA margin rose by 2.8 percent points to 58.9 percent. This included a 3.4 percent decline in EBITDA in Morocco, compensated by strong growth in international EBITDA. The result was further helped by a higher gross margin (boosted by lower mobile termination rates), reduced customer acquisition costs and operating expenses, and a voluntary redundancy plan in the second half of 2012. EBITA was also up 0.1 percent to MAD 3.04 billion, while operating cash flow was down 13.2 percent to MAD 2.32 billion, after higher spending on network upgrades in Morocco.
The company finished the period with 17.871 million mobile customers in Morocco, up 3.9 percent from a year earlier. Churn was down 1 percent point to 17.9 percent, and the 3G customer base rose 29.1 percent to 1.61 million. ARPU was still down 9.4 percent to MAD 72, hurt by termination rate cuts, price pressure and the larger customer base. In the fixed-line market, the customer base was up 4.2 percent from a year ago to 1.298 million, and broadband subscribers rose by 18.3 percent to 722,000.