Maroc Telecom Q1 revenue up 5.6% as Morocco mobile services return to growth
Maroc Telecom's revenues for the first quarter increased to MAD 8.99 billion, up 5.6 percent at constant exchange rates thanks to significant revenue growth in Morocco and at its African subsidiaries. The group's customer base reached nearly 59 million customers at the end of March, up 7.8 percent over a year.
Group’s earnings from operations before depreciation and amortization increased by 5.7 percent to MAD 4.48 billion. This performance was primarily due to the resumption of EBITDA growth in Morocco, and to cost optimization efforts, which enabled an increase of only 1.8 percent in operating costs at constant exchange rates, the company said. The EBITDA margin rose by 0.3 points at constant rates, to 49.8 percent.
Adjusted earnings from operations (EBITA) amounted to MAD 2.86 billion, an increase of 8.0 percent due to the combined effect of the increase in EBITDA and a 0.3 percent decrease in amortization charges. The margin rose by 0.7 percentage points to 31.8 percent.
Group share of adjusted net income was up 5.6 percent in Q1 (+4.5% at constant exchange rates) to MAD 1.58 billion. Adjusted cash flow from operations amounted to MAD 1.80 billion, a decrease of 23.1 percent due to seasonality in working capital requirements.
The group’s International activities generated revenue of MAD 4.13 billion, an increase of 9.6 percent driven by growth in new subsidiaries’ income especially in the Ivory Coast, Benin, and Togo, where Maroc Telecom's subsidiaries are continuing to gain market share and are benefiting from stronger data usage. EBITDA amounted to MAD 1.71 billion over the same period, up 7.0 percent, and EBITDA rose 4.5 percent at constant exchange rates to MAD 1.01 billion.
In Morocco, the number of mobile customers increased to 18.8 million as of 31 March, a 2.1 percent year-on-year increase driven by a 3.1 percent rise in post-paid customers and 2.0 percent rise in prepaid customers. Mobile revenue resumed its growth and was up 2.7 percent compared with the same period in the previous year as demand for mobile internet offset the impact of asymmetry in mobile terminations rates and the impact of the VoIP deregulation. Blended ARPU for the first three months of 2018 amounted to MAD 57.5, up 1.7 compared with the same period in 2017.
The fixed-line customer base was 1.8 million lines, an increase of 4.9 percent, driven by double-play offers for the residential segment and by VPNs for companies. The broadband customer base recorded a strong 8.8 percent increase to nearly 1.4 million lines. The Fixed-Line and Internet activities in Morocco generated revenue of MAD 2.32 billion, up 4.9 percent, thanks to the 13.8 percent rise in data revenue which more than offset the decrease in voice.