Mar 29, 2023
Phosphate Giant’s Blowout Earnings Give Morocco Welcome Buffer
(Bloomberg) -- Morocco’s government will get a windfall of about $750 million from dividends this year after state-owned phosphates giant OCP SA reported record earnings, a welcome boost for the kingdom that’s wrestling with stubbornly high inflation and periodic drought.
The company controlling almost three quarters of global phosphorus deposits reported net income of 28.2 billion dirhams ($2.76 billion) in 2022, 73% more than the year before and the highest since its inception over a century ago. Higher global commodity prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and an increase in fertilizer output were the main drivers.
The North African state, which holds 94% of OCP’s capital, is building up its shock absorbers after another side-effect of the conflict in Europe — higher food and energy import bills — stoked public anger and rare protests. Morocco recently raised $2.5 billion from its first dollar bond in three years and is seeking a $5 billion International Monetary Fund credit line to guard against global uncertainties.
OCP had record revenues of 114.6 billion dirhams in 2022 versus 84.3 billion dirhams the year before, it said in a statement. The dividend of 98.5 dirhams per share was 60% higher.
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