RABAT, March 31 Addoha, Morocco's
biggest property developer by market value, posted a 6.5 percent
drop in 2013 net profit as its margins on low-income housing
projects were squeezed by a cash-strapped government.
The company said on Monday it sold 24,177 low-income housing
units last year, down from 25,429 the year before.
Morocco has been on a drive in recent years to build
low-income housing developments in an attempt to stop the spread
of slums and prevent the sort of social unrest that has toppled
governments elsewhere in North Africa.
But the kingdom is also under pressure from its
international lenders to reduce its public deficit and with
economic growth forecast to slow this year, the government has
been putting pressure on housebuilders' margins.
Addoha, which makes about 66 percent of its revenues from
low-income housing, said it made a consolidated net profit of
1.68 billion dirhams ($206 million) last year on a 0.3 percent
rise in consolidated sales revenues to 9.45 billion dirhams.
At 1215 GMT, its shares were down 6 percent.
Addoha said it sold 1,857 housing units for high-end
customers last year, up from 1,537 the year before.
Demand for such accommodation has been hit in recent years
by protracted economic weakness in the euro zone.
Addoha's biggest listed rival Alliances posted a 11
percent rise in 2013 net profit to 580 million dirhams on a 7
percent rise in turnover to 4.26 billion dirhams.
($1 = 8.1571 Moroccan Dirhams)
(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Mark Potter)