(Ecofin Agency) - Itissalat al-Maghrib, the Moroccan leader in telecommunications and the sixth-largest listed company in Africa by market value, tried to reassure its investors after a year 2020 with rather mixed performance. "Over the year 2020, Maroc Telecom group posted operating results in line with targets," the company said in a statement today.
The group says thanks to continuous efforts to control costs and multiple innovations, it has managed to maintain its margins, "demonstrating its ability to adapt to the conditions imposed by a health and economic crisis never seen before".
Maroc Telecom has proposed to distribute a dividend of MAD 4.01 per share for the financial year 2020, down 27.6% compared to the MAD 5.54 in FY2019.
Also, compared to the last Maroc Telecom share price on February 18th, this represents a yield of only 2.8%. This will be the lowest level of dividend paid by the group since 2003, according to market data consulted by the Ecofin Agency.
Overall, 2020 has been difficult for the telecommunications group. Despite an 8.1% increase in its customer base, and its African activities (+1.4%), its revenues only took off by 0.7%. The share of the Moroccan group (MAD 6 billion) in the overall net income of its activities is down slightly by 0.5%.
Finally, its managers predict a decline in revenues and gross margins for 2021. At the opening of trading on the Casablanca Stock Exchange on February 19th, the Maroc Telecom share was down 3.4%, its first decline after 4 days of rising.