Maroc Telecom's 1Q group revenues up 2.4%

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Consolidated revenues for Maroc Telecom Group in the first quarter were MAD 7,129 million, up 2.4% year-on-year (up 2.3% at constant exchange rates. Consolidated earnings from operations rose to MAD 3,188 million, up 2.7% year-on-year (up 2.5% at constant exchange rates, and were buoyed by a strong performance both in the home market and in the subsidiaries’ operations in sub-Saharan Africa.

The customer base grew by 9.7% year-on-year to 19.7 million at March 31, 2009. This growth was essentially attributable to mobile services in Morocco, which achieved a 6.8% year-on-year increase in the customer base to 14.6 million, and to the African subsidiaries, which expanded the mobile customer base by 42.8% to 2.8 million.

Net revenues from all telecom services in Morocco rose to MAD 6,136 million in first quarter 2009, up 1.0% year-on-year.

Gross revenues generated by Mobile services in first quarter 2009 in Morocco were MAD 4,378 million, up 1.9% year-on-year. The Mobile customer base stood at 14,630 million at March 31, 2009, up 6.8% year-on-year, representing an increase of 174 000 customers during the period. As a result of the significant growth in the customer base in first quarter 2008, the annualized churn rate came to 37.5%, representing a 2.6 point increase versus the previous quarter. Blended ARPU amounted to MAD 91, down 6.4% year-on-year, essentially due to the impact of growth in the customer base and lower interconnection revenues.

Gross revenues generated in the Fixed-line and Internet segments in Morocco came to MAD 2,376 million at 31 March 2009, up 1.2% year-on-year. At end-March, the Fixed-line network had 1.286 million lines in service, representing a 3.7% decrease year-on-year, while the average monthly bill increased marginally (up 0.6%). The ADSL customer base totaled 488,000 lines at March 31, 2009, up 0.2% year-on-year. In addition, the 3G Mobile Internet customer base rose from 28,000 customers to 65,000 customers during the first quarter. Other significant highlights included a 25% increase in Data services revenues in first quarter 2009, which was chiefly fuelled by the growth in leased lines used by the Mobile activity for the 3G network deployment.

Net revenues from all telecom services in Mauritania climbed to MAD 273 million in first quarter 2009, up 7.2% year-on-year (up 0.5% at constant exchange rates, thanks to a resilient performance in both the Mobile and Fixed-line segments and despite an intensely competitive market context. Mauritel reported a solid operational performance during the period, with a 27% increase in the Mobile customer base to 1.218 million customers, a 35% increase in the Fixed-line customer base to almost 54,000 customers and a 67% increase in the Internet customer base to almost 10,000 customers.

Net revenues from all telecom services in Burkina Faso rose to MAD 407 million in the first quarter, up 14.7% year-on-year (up 16.7% at constant exchange rates thanks to a strong operational performance across all segments. Onatel’s customer base expanded rapidly during the period: up 80% for Mobile services to 1.162 million customers, up 18% for Fixed-line services to 149,000 and up 46% in the Internet segment to 19,000.

Net revenues from all telecom services in Gabon increased to MAD 296 million in the first quarter, up 13.9% (up 15.9% at constant exchange rates. Gabon Telecom turned in a solid operational performance during the period, with a 20% increase in the Mobile customer base to 471,000 customers, a 40% increase in the Fixed-line segment to 35,000 and a 73% increase in the Internet segment to 19,000.

Consolidated earnings from operations(1) generated by Maroc Telecom Group in first quarter 2009 increased to MAD 3,188 million, up 2.7% year-on-year (up 2.5% at constant exchange rates and the EBITDA increased to MAD 4,218 million, up 4.9% (up 4.8 at constant exchange rates.

This growth was essentially due to the combination of revenue growth, tight control on operating expenses and a noteworthy increase in the aggregate margin of the international subsidiaries. As a result the EFO margin was maintained at 44.7% in spite of the impact of required commercial efforts, mainly in Morocco, and the incremental increase in amortization.