MOROCCO – Moroccan telecommunications operator Maroc Telecom has posted a turnover of more than MAD 27.49 billion ($2.99 billion) during the first nine months of 2020, a 0.7% rise compared to a similar period in 2019.

According to Maroc Telecom, its unwavering financial position is as a result of the strong resilience of international activities, which partially offset the decline in turnover in Morocco.

Revenues from activities in Morocco during the first 9 months of 2020 were significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, plummeting 3.6% to settle at about MAD 15.72 billion (US$1.7 billion).

Maroc Telecom’s net income group share also dropped by 2.6% at the end of the first nine months of 2020, settling at about MAD 4.52 billion (US$491.6 million).

Operating income before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached nearly MAD 14.36 billion ($1.56 billion), down slightly by 0.3%.

Maroc Telecom attributes the change to a 6.7% increase in adjusted EBITDA from international activities, which partially compensates for the decrease in adjusted EBITDA in Morocco.

The group’s adjusted operating income stood at MAD 8.71 billion ($947.3 million) at the end of September 2020, representing a decrease of 3.1%.

Adjusted net operating cash flow however, increased by 22.4% or MAD 11.22 billion ($1.22 billion) due to the drop in capital expenditures.

Maroc Telecom’s capital expenditure, also known as Capex, was down by 38.5% at the end of September and the Group attributed the decline to its “efficient management of investments” amid the crisis.

Despite the positive feedback regarding the capital expenditure, Maroc Telecom acknowledged that the mobile segment continues to suffer the COVID-19 crisis due to the loss of “significant income from tourism” and Moroccans residing abroad (MREs).

Maroc Telecom also reported a 4.3% rise in the group’s customer base during the period under review.

Subsidiary customer bases rose by 7.3 percent while customers using fixed lines increased by 6.7 percent.

The groups fixed broadband customer segment was however, the biggest driver of customer growth in Morocco, delivering a 10.4 percent rise in users.

Overall, Maroc Telecom’s entire customer base now stands at 70.3 million and is spread across the Group’s 10 subsidiaries located in Chad, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Niger, and the Central African Republic.

Abdeslam Ahizoun, the chairman of the Board of Directors of Maroc Telecom Group, described the outcomes as a demonstration of success despite the current health crisis and the “stiffening competition.”

He also argued that the company showed a “great capacity” to face the effects of the crisis by adopting cost optimization plans and managing optimized investments since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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