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  • 29 Jul 2021
  • ·
  • Finance

Cellnex ends H1 2021 with 47% growth in revenue and cash-flow, and 53% growth in EBITDA

Results January-June 2021

Updated outlook for revenue, EBITDA and cash-flow in 2021 due to early completion of certain acquisitions

Since January deals announced in France, the Netherlands and Poland, with an associated investment of c.€9 billion

Completion of the integration of CK Hutchison’s assets in Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Sweden; integration of Play and Polkomtel Infrastruktura in Poland; and merger of telecommunications tower business in the Netherlands with DT

Completion of the acquisition of Hivory in France and the integration of the assets of CK Hutchison in the UK are pending regulatory approval

  • Key indicators reflect the Company’s continued geographic expansion – after the integrations in 2020 and the beginning of 2021 – and the strength of the Group’s organic business:
  • Revenue[1] of €1,061m (vs €723m in H1 2020); adjusted EBITDA of €804m (vs €527m in H1 2020); and recurring levered free cash flow of €394m (vs €267m in H1 2020).
  • Points of Presence (PoPs) increased by approximately 95%, with 7.5% organic growth including the effect of the roll-out of new sites in this period.
  • Updated outlook for 2021 with revenue of between €2,535m and €2,555m (previous guidance €2,405m – €2,445m), Adjusted EBITDA of between €1,910m and €1,930m (previous guidance €1,815m – €1,855m) and a recurring levered free cash flow of between €955m and €965m (previous guidance €905m – €925m).
  • Net debt at 30 June of €6,566 million.
  • Average maturity of the Company’s debt (drawn debt) is 7.2 years, the average cost of the drawn debt is 1.6%, of which 86% is fixed rate.
  • As of July 2021 and following the completion of the acquisition of Polkomtel Infrastruktura, Cellnex has an available liquidity (cash and undrawn debt) of €18.6 billion.
  • The company has been ranked among the top five telecommunications companies globally in terms of sustainability, improving its rating in the Sustainalytics “ESG Risk Rating” by 20%, consolidating its “low” risk rating. Following initiatives to address the risk of climate change, it has received the approval of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its emission-reduction targets – aligned with the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” commitment to limit global warming.
  • Other initiatives as part of Cellnex’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy include setting up the Cellnex Foundation to narrow the digital, social and regional divide through projects that improve access to connectivity.

Barcelona, 29 July 2021.- Cellnex Telecom today announces its financial results for the first half of 2021. Revenue totalled €1,061 million (+47% vs H1 2020) and adjusted EBITDA grew to €804 million (+53% vs H1 2020) reflecting, along with organic growth, the effect of consolidation of the assets it acquired in 2020 and in the early months of 2021. Recurring Levered Free Cash Flow was €394 million (+47% vs H1 2020).

The net accounting result was negative at -€67 million euros due to the higher amortisations (+60% vs H1 2020) and financial costs (+88% vs H1 2020) associated with the Group’s ongoing process of acquisitions and the consequent geographic expansion.

Tobias Martínez, CEO of Cellnex highlighted “a first half marked by the completion of several acquisitions announced in 2020 and in 2021; new agreements in France, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal; and our recent rights issue which received significant support from our shareholders. This has allowed us to continue seizing new expansive growth opportunities, as well as build on organic growth in excess of 5% for the period which saw increased revenue, EBITDA and recurring cash flow. We are pleased that several acquisitions completed earlier than previously expected, and so have revised our outlook for the full year, with revenues expected to exceed €2.5 billion and expected EBITDA of more than €1.9 billion. “


Business lines: Key indicators for the period

  • Infrastructure Services for mobile telecommunications operators contributed 85% to revenue, €900 million, up 63% compared to the same period in 2020.
  • Broadcasting infrastructure contributed 10% of revenue (€109 million).
  • The business focused on security and emergency networks and solutions for the intelligent management of urban infrastructures (IoT and Smart cities), contributed 5% of revenue (€52 million).
  • As at 30 June, the Company’s largest market is Spain, accounting for 25% of the Group’s revenue, followed by Italy with 17% and France with 16%.
  • As at 30 June, Cellnex had a total of 81,755 operational sites: 4,487 in Austria; 1,338 in Denmark; 10,339 in Spain; 11,266 in France; 1,787 in Ireland; 20,020 in Italy; 4,061 in the Netherlands; 7,428 in Poland; 5,117 in Portugal; 7,996 in the UK; 2,578 in Sweden and 5,338 in Switzerland; in addition, there are 3,994 DAS nodes and Small Cells (c.40% more, at constant perimeter, compared with H1 2020).
  • Organic growth of PoPs at sites was +7.5% in relation to H1 2020, including the effect of the roll-out of new sites in this period.
  • Total investments made in the first half of the year stood at approximately €6.3 billion. This mostly corresponds to investments related to the generation of new income – incorporation of new assets, ongoing integration and roll-out of new infrastructure – together with improvements in the efficiency and maintenance of installed capacity.
  • The backlog – future sales agreed by the Group – including transactions to be concluded and roll-outs announced in France and the United Kingdom, was €110 billion.

Debt structure

Cellnex has a debt structure that is flexible, low cost and with a high average maturity, owing to the various instruments used.

  • The Group’s net debt – as at 30 June – was €6,566 million, as against €6,500 million at the end of 2020.
  • The average maturity of the debt (drawn) is currently 7.2 years, the average cost of the debt drawn down is 1.6%, and 86% is tied to a fixed rate.
  • Since January the company has made four bond issues, one in February – in three tranches – for a total of €2,500 million, one in March for an amount of 150 million Swiss francs, one in May for an amount of €1,000 million, and one in June – the first in the United States market – for an amount of 600 million dollars long term (20 years).
  • As at July 2021, Cellnex has access to immediate liquidity (cash and undrawn debt) of approximately €18.6 billion.
  • Cellnex Telecom’s issues maintain Fitch’s investment grade rating (BBB-) with a stable outlook, confirmed in July. For its part, S&P confirmed the BB+ rating with a stable outlook in June.


Period featuring the conclusion of operations and the announcement of new growth agreements

In 2021 Cellnex announced growth operations in France (Hivory), the Netherlands (DT sites) and Poland (Polkomtel Infrastruktura) with an associated investment of c.€9 billion.

It has also announced an expanded partnership with MEO in Portugal through the acquisition of 223 sites and 464 DAS and Small Cells that will be spun off from the Portuguese mobile operator’s tower division. This transaction amounted to an investment of €209 million.

Of the series of transactions announced in the last 10 months, the Company has already concluded:

  • The integration of CK Hutchison’s assets in Austria, Denmark, Ireland (December), Sweden (January) and Italy (June), after receiving the clearance from the competition authorities in the respective countries.

The Company has thereby consolidated c.18,600 sites out of the total of 24,600 included in the agreement announced in November 2020, with only the agreement in the United Kingdom, which is expected for the first half of 2022, still to be concluded.

The whole operation is worth €10 billion, and the agreements also envisage the roll-out of up to 5,300 new sites over the next eight years, with an investment of a further €1.1 billion.

  • The integration of Play and Polkomtel Infrastruktura in Poland.

At the end of March 2021, Cellnex concluded its deal to purchase a network of c.7,000 sites from Play, a subsidiary of Iliad, in Poland. The acquisition was first announced in October 2020. After receiving clearance from the competition authorities, the Company formalised the acquisition for c.€800 million which included a 60% controlling stake in the company that will now be managing these sites. This new Polish telecommunications infrastructure operator, controlled by Cellnex, plans to invest up to €1.3 billion in rolling out up to 5,000 new sites over the next ten years in Poland.

Likewise, in early July the Company concluded the agreement with Cyfrowy Polsat – announced in February – for the acquisition of 99.99% of its telecommunications infrastructure subsidiary, Polkomtel Infrastruktura, following the clearance from the Polish competition authority (UKOiK). Polkomtel operates passive infrastructure (c.7,000 towers and telecommunications sites) and active infrastructure (c.37,000 radio carriers providing coverage for all the bands used by 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G, and 11,300 km of fibre backbone network and fibre to the tower (backhaul), supplemented by a national network of microwave radio links. The operation involves an investment of €1,600 million, plus an additional programme to roll out up to about 1,500 sites, together with investments in active equipment, mainly for the roll-out of 5G, for a further €600 million or so over the next 10 years.

  • The integration of DT sites in the Netherlands.

In early June, after receiving the clearance from the competition authorities, Cellnex and Deutsche Telekom concluded the agreement, which was announced in January, to merge their telecommunications tower business in the Netherlands and create an independently managed digital-infrastructure investment fund. Cellnex Netherlands now operates a total of 4,310 sites, including c.240 new sites to be rolled out over the next 7 years, of which 180 agreed with DT.

Pending regulatory approvals: In addition to the deal with CK Hutchinson in the UK, in February 2021 Cellnex reached an agreement with Altice France and Starlight Holdco for the acquisition of Hivory in France, the telecommunications tower operator that manages the 10,500 sites which mainly serve SFR. The agreement will cost Cellnex €5.2 billion, and will be accompanied by an eight-year programme worth a further €900 million for the roll-out of up to 2,500 new sites, among other projects.

Once all the current acquisition and roll-out agreements have been concluded, Cellnex will be operating more than 130,000 telecommunications towers and sites in a total of 12 European countries.

Updated Outlook for 2021

As a result of the acquisitions carried out by the Company and its progressive integration of these assets and companies into the Group – some ahead of schedule – Cellnex has updated its forecasts for key indicators (revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free and recurring cash flow) for the fiscal year 2021:

  • Estimated revenue: between €2,535 and €2,555 million (vs previous estimate of €2,405-2,445 million).
  • Adjusted EBITDA : estimated at between €1,910 and €1,930 million (vs €1,815-€1,855 million).
  • RLFCF growth of around 60% to €955-€965 million (vs €905 to €925 million).

About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructure, with a portfolio of c. 130,000 sites, some 93,000 of which are already operational, and the rest in the process of conclusion or planned roll-outs up to 2030. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Poland.

Cellnex’s business is structured into four major areas: telecommunications infrastructure services; audiovisual broadcasting networks, security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure and services management (Smart cities and the “Internet of Things” (IoT)).

The company is listed on the continuous market of the Spanish stock exchange and is part of the selective IBEX 35 and EuroStoxx 600 indices. It is also included in the main sustainability indexes such as CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), Sustainalytics, FTSE4GOOD, MSCI and Standard Ethics.

Cellnex’s reference shareholders include GIC, Edizione, Canada Pension Plan, CriteriaCaixa, Wellington Management Group, Capital Group, Blackrock, Fidelity and Norges Bank.

For more information:

[1] Corresponds to Operating Income excluding Advances to customers. Please see note 18 a) in our Interim Consolidated Financial Statements ended 30 June 2021.

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