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  • 09 Nov 2018
  • ·
  • Finance

Cellnex reports Q3 revenue increase of 15% and EBITDA increase of 19%

Results January-September 2018 (IFRS16)

Solid organic growth.

The company remains open to opportunities in Europe.


  • The company’s key indicators are growing consistently compared to the first nine months of 2017:
    • Points of presence (PoPs) are up 12% with the extension of our geographic perimeter (4.5% like-for-like). The customer ratio per site increased +3% like-for-like.
    • The roll-out of new DAS (distributed antenna systems) and Small Cells grew by 20% versus the same period of 2017.
    • Based on the application of the IFRS16 accounting regulations, income stands at €665 million; EBITDA €439 million; comparable net result 20 million; and recurring free cash flow €230 million.
    • Total investments in the first nine months of 2018 stood at €392 million.
    • The backlog of future sales stands at €16 billion, or 20 years’ income.
    • The company maintains its perspective for the entire 2018 financial year at the top end of the initial forecasts with EBITDA between 584 and 589 million euros (IFRS16) and growth of recurrent free cash flow of around 10%.
    • For the second consecutive quarter, Cellnex presents results based on the new accounting IFRS16 standard, the application of which will be mandatory for all companies as of January 2019.
  • Net debt as of 30 September (IFRS16) stood at €2.922 billion, with an annualised debt/EBITDA ratio of 4.9x. 81% at a fixed rate, the average cost of debt (drawn down and not drawn down) at 9%  and an average life of 5.7 years.
  • In September 2018 Cellnex had immediate liquidity (cash and banks plus available credit lines) of €1.685 billion.
  • The Board has approved a dividend payment of €0.0535, charged to the share premium reserve, which will become effective in November.

Barcelona, 9 November 2018. Cellnex Telecom has presented its results for the first nine months of 2018 based on the new IFRS16 accounting regulations. Revenue stood at €665 million (+15%) and EBITDA was €439 million (+19%). The comparable net result closed at €20 million and continues to demonstrate the effect of higher amortisations (+19% vs. 3Q 2017) and financial costs (+42% vs. 3Q 2017) associated with the group’s growth and the consequent expansion of the geographic perimeter. It is worth remembering that Cellnex set aside € 55 million in the first quarter for the voluntary early retirement and voluntary redundancies plan agreed in March at Retevisión and Tradia for the period 2018-2019. This provision has a non-recurring impact on the result of the first nine months of the year.

Cellnex Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Martínez highlighted that “the first nine months continue to demonstrate two-digit growth. This reflects two key factors, a growing geographic perimeter due to the acquisitions made during 2017 and 2018 and in which we are incorporating further new assets in France under our agreements with Bouygues Telecom, and in Spain with the integration of Xarxa Oberta de Catalunya. The second factor is consistent and solid organic growth, at 4% in terms of the amount of equipment deployed to our sites and at 3% in relation to the customer ratio per site.

Tobias Martinez highlights the possible consolidation opportunities available within the European infrastructure sector. “ We are seeing growth opportunities within this market, either through the offloading of assets by the major operators, or through the convergence of different sector players. This corporate activity, together with the deployment of 5G technology, makes Europe a very attractive market for Cellnex.”

Main indicators for the period and noteworthy projects in the organic business

Infrastructure services for mobile telecommunications operators contributed to 65% total income, to the tune of €432 million, representing an increase of 27% with regard to September 2017.

Activity in broadcasting infrastructures contributed 26% of income, at €175 million.

The business that is focused on security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure management (IoT and Smart cities) contributed 9% of revenue, totalling € 59 million.

As of 30 September, 48% of income and 56% of EBITDA were generated outside the Spanish market. Italy is the second largest market, accounting for 29% of revenues.

At the close of the first nine months, Cellnex had a total of 22.285 sites (8.198 in Spain, 8.075 in Italy, and 6.012 in the Netherlands, France, the UK and Switzerland), with a further 1.453 DAS and Small Cells nodes.

It should be noted that the number of DAS and Small Cells sites grew by 20%  in comparison to the first nine months of 2017.

Like-for-like organic growth of points of presence in sites stood at +4.5%  regarding the same period in 2017, while the customer ratio per site  (excluding changes to the geographic perimeter) was +3% .

Total investments in the first nine months of 2018 stood at €392 million, aimed mostly at investments to generate new income, such as those linked to the incorporation and roll-out of sites in France under the agreements with Bouygues Telecom, as well as improvements in efficiency and maintaining installed capacity.

During the first nine months of the year, Cellnex continued to work on organic growth projects, beyond its ongoing analysis of inorganic growth operations. For example, we would point especially to the development of infrastructure deployment and co-location agreements with Iliad in France and Italy, and to the start of co-location operations at Cellnex Switzerland sites by the transalpine operator Salt. Turning to DAS and Small Cells, the company has developed new projects in Spain (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Rio 2 Shopping Centre, Madrid; and Oceanogràfic, Valencia; inter alia) and is analysing new projects in the rest of the European markets in which it operates, especially in the United Kingdom, resulting from Cellnex Italy’s experience of rolling out this 5G infrastructure for stadiums, shopping centres, tunnels, rail and underground networks and urban centres.

 

Debt structure

Cellnex closed the first half of 2018 with a stable long-term debt structure, with an average life of 5.7 years, an average cost of approximately 1.9% (debt drawn down and not drawn down), and 81% at a fixed rate (bonds and bank debt).

As of 30 September, the company’s net debt, based on the IFRS16 rules, stood at €2.922 billion compared to €2.677 billion (IFRS16) at the close of 2017, equivalent to a net debt/EBITDA ratio of 4.9x.  At the close of the period, Cellnex also had access to immediate liquidity (cash & banks and debt not drawn down) to the tune of approximately €1.826 billion.

Cellnex Telecom’s bond issues maintain their “investment grade” rating from Fitch (BBB- with a negative outlook),  confirmed by this agency last October. For its part, S&P maintains the BB rating with stable outlook confirmed by the agency last June.

 

Dividend

The Cellnex Board of Directors approved a dividend payment of €0.0535, charged to the share premium reserve. Payment will be made in November.

This interim dividend responds to the policy announced at the 2017 Shareholders Meeting that committed to an internal dividend increase of 10% during the period 2017-2019.

 

About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a total portfolio of 28,000 sites including forecast roll-outs up to 2022. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Cellnex’s business is structured in 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 part of the FTSE4GOOD and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), “Standard Ethics” and Sustainalytics indexes.

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