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Maroc Telecom stabilizes its profits in the first quarter

After the ball of annual results whose balance sheet is generally mixed, investors will plunge into a restricted exercise with the quarterly publications of a few companies including financial institutions and telecom companies.

After a 2018 of good quality, Maroc Telecom has just published a net profit adjusted stable group share to MAD 1.6 billion in the first three months of the year. The group whose fleet has expanded to 62 million customers achieved a turnover of MAD 8.9 billion, at the same level as the same period last year.

In Morocco, revenues rose 2.4% to 5.4 billion dirhams. Mobile segment revenue increased 3.2%. The number of customers rose to 19.3 million at the end of March. Data consumption is still sustained, which partly compensates for the negative effects of changes in consumption patterns. In the first three months of the year, the mixed Arpu fell by 1.3% to MAD 56.8.

In the Fixed-line and Internet businesses, revenue growth slowed to 1.5% to 2.3 billion dirhams. The data turnover represents the third party. Despite its dynamism, the pace posted in the first quarter (6.1%) is the lowest in the last five years.

The situation was a little more contrasted internationally with a 4.6% decrease in turnover to 3.9 billion dirhams. This decline is attributed to lower mobile termination rates and international inbound traffic. Nevertheless, the acquisition of new customers remains dynamic in most markets with the exception of Mali where the portfolio fell by 6.6%.

At the end of March, operating income before depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) was 4.6 billion MAD, up 3.7%. Part of this increase is attributable to a change in lease accounting (IFRS 16). Restated for this impact, EBITDA improves by 1.3%. The Ebitda margin rate stands at 52% and 50% excluding the impact of IFRS 16. After three months, the Etisalat subsidiary recorded operating income of 2.9 billion dirhams.

Excluding frequencies and licenses, investments in the first quarter were limited to MAD 860 million (-42%). The overall amount of investments is much higher since the group has committed MAD 1.3 billion in Burkina Faso to obtain a mobile license including 4G.

In addition, it will expand its scope of intervention in Chad after an agreement with Millicom for the acquisition of Tigo. The final agreement is subject to the visa of the Chadian authorities. After the transactions made in the first quarter, the cash is displayed at 2.8 billion dirhams.

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