MAROC TÉLÉCOM POSTS STRONG Q1 RESULTS ON THE BACK OF MOBILE GROWTH
Maroc Télécom has posted revenues for the quarter ending 31 March 2005 of MAD4.71 billion (EUR423 million), a year-on-year rise of 15.8%.
The company attributed the good results mainly to sales at its mobile division, which grew by 26%; fixed line turnover increased 7.5%. It reported an estimated 6.7 million mobile subscribers and 1.3 million fixed line customers at the end of March.
Maroc Télécom (formerly Itissalat Al Maghrib) was a wholly state owned telco until December 2000, when a 35% stake was sold to the French conglomerate Vivendi Universal for MAD23 billion (EUR2.089 billion). The deal was, by a considerable margin, the highest value privatisation seen in Africa, and the process was trumpeted as a great success.
It wasn't until November 2004, however, that Vivendi agreed to take majority control of the company and up its stake to 51%, the EUR1.1 billion deal becoming effective in January 2005. The agreement was followed by the launch of an IPO in December 2004, when the government offloaded a 14.9% stake in Télécom.
The flotation on the Paris and Casablanca stock exchanges was reported to be as much as fifty times oversubscribed, with a high level of interest coming from the US, Europe and the Middle East.