2002 RESULTS FOR MAROC TELECOM ENCOURAGING VIVENDI TO BUY CONTROL

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

According to Liquid Africa, Maroc Telecom has posted bullish results for 2002. Its sales were DH14,751bn, up 9% on the previous year and its net results were DH3.7bn, up 405% on the previous year. Dividends paid out were DH2.5bn up 240% on last year. The operator is paying off its debt and posted a DH7bn cash flow result. Its major shareholder, Vivendi (35%) probably played an important role by putting in its know-how in the industry.

The French holding company is now considering raising its stake to a controlling 51% after it pulls out of the entertainment business in the US. Maroc Telecom’s domestic market is expanding: MT holds a 70% market share in the GSM market (4.6M subscribers, 70% of which are pre-paid customers). MT’s GSM capacity is 8M lines.

Fixed lines were partly cannibalized by mobile subscriptions as 500,000 users "converted" to GSM, stabilized at 1.1M customers, thanks to a creative marketing campaign and the launch of new packages. Maroc Telecom is also pioneering the Internet business in Morocco (34,000 subscribers so far), and plans on developing it tremendously in the near future.