Maroc Telecom 2012 profit falls 17 pct on charges

MOROCCO Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:49am EST

MOROCCO Feb 21 (Reuters) - Morocco-based Maroc Telecom on Thursday posted a 17 percent drop in 2012 net profit attributable to shareholders to 6.7 billion dirhams ($794 million), citing restructuring charges and a non-recurring contribution to the government.

The company paid 102 million dirhams to the government in the form of a new levy to reduce poverty at the start of 2012, and 807 million dirhams for voluntary redundancy plans.

Maroc Telecom saw 1,404 of its staff in Morocco leave during the year, or 14 percent of its total workforce.

Sales revenue fell 3.2 percent as revenues in Morocco, its main market, dropped 7.4 percent, although its customer base continued to grow, by 13.5 percent to 33 million customers.

Mobile price cuts and reduced termination rates in Morocco were partially offset by a 17 percent rise in international revenue; revenues at Maroc Telecom's subsidiaries grew 23 percent in Gabon, 19.3 percent in Mali, 14.3 percent in Burkina Faso and 14.1 percent in Mauritania.

The company said it would pay a dividend yield of 7.0 percent to shareholders. (Reporting by Azia El Yaakoubi, Editing by Andrew Torchia)