VENTURES AFRICA – Maroc Telecom’s (Maroc) revenues sagged 3.2 percent in 2012 to MAD 29.85 billion ($3.5 billion), battered by mobile price cuts at its home market, Morocco’s biggest telecoms company said on Thursday.
But group customer base rose by 13.5 percent over 2012 to 33 million customers, led by the international customer base, up 30 percent to 13.1 million customers.
The telecoms operator – which is 53 percent owned by French conglomerate Vivendi SA and 30 percent owned by the Moroccan government – said reduced termination rates in its home market were only partially compensated by a 17 percent rise in international revenue.
Group revenues in the fourth quarter declined by 3.9 percent from the previous year to MAD 7.33 billion ($868 million), it said in a statement.
Net earnings in 2012 fell by 17 percent to MAD 6.71 billion ($795 million), impacted by restructuring charges and a one-time contribution of MAD 204 million ($24 million) to the Moroccan solidarity fund.
For 2013, Maroc said it aims to maintain its EBITDA margin at around 56 percent and show slight growth in operating cash flow (EBITDA – capex). In 2012, cash flow rose 8.5 percent last year to MAD 12.6 billion ($1.5 billion), while capex fell 7.0 percent to MAD 5.4 billion ($639 million).
Maroc recently said it would invest 10 billion Moroccan dirhams ($1.1 billion) to upgrade the country’s broadband network, Morocco’s biggest telecoms company said on Wednesday.
Maroc said it would invest this money between 2013 and 2015 financial years. The company will also invest 4 billion dirhams in other African countries where it has operations. These countries include Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Mali over the same period.
Maroc had already invested 25 billion dirhams ($3 billion) in Morocco, it said in a statement to the French securities exchange.
The company made this announcement at the time when Etisalat ETEL.AD, the United Arab Emirates’ largest telecommunications operator, said it is interested in buying Vivendi’s 53 percent stake in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom.