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  • 26 Jul 2019
  • ·
  • Finance

Cellnex ends first half with 11% growth in revenue and EBITDA

Results January-June 2019

The Board appoints Franco Bernabè as a non-executive Chairman

Tobias Martinez remains in his role as CEO 

 

  • Key indicators show strong organic growth and geographic expansion:
  • Revenue of € 489 million (vs. €439 million); EBITDA of € 321.3 million (vs. 290.5 million); and recurring free cash flow of € 173 million (vs. €158 million).
  • Points of presence (PoPs) grew 11% as a result of new acquisitions (5% like-for-like). Customer ratio per site increased by 3% like-for-like.
  • Roll-out of new DAS (distributed antenna systems) nodes and small cells grew by c.20%
  • Backlog of contracted future sales, including the transactions pending conclusion in Italy, France, Switzerland and UK stands at € 36 billion.
  • Significant inorganic growth in the quarter with the agreements reached with Iliad in France and Italy, Salt in Switzerland and BT in the UK, which will increase the number of sites managed by Cellnex by 15,000.
  • Net debt of € 2.298 billion as of 30 June, of which 79% is fixed rate. The average cost of debt (drawn down) is 1% with an average term of 5 years. In July 2019 Cellnex has available liquidity (cash and banks plus available credit lines) of  5.500 billion.

Barcelona, 26 July 2019. Cellnex Telecom Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunication infrastructure, announces its results for the first half of 2019. Revenue totalled € 489 million (+11%) and EBITDA was € 321.3million (11%). This resulted in net profit at balance (0 million euros) compared to the € 31 million loss in the first half of 2018 (see footnote Annex 1).

“Given the growth in our operations, which involved new investments totalling over € 4 billion in asset purchases and roll-outs until 2027, the positive progression of the like-for-like business growth indicators is encouraging. We are pleased with the robustness of the balance sheet and the liquidity held by the company” stated Tobias Martinez, CEO.

“In the first seven months of this year, we have increased liquidity by around € 4 billion, including €1.2 billion from the capital increase last March, to reach € 5.5 billion. We have therefore bolstered our own resources ensuring better conditions in terms of debt life and average cost; and, perhaps most importantly, access to the resources needed to meet the commitments undertaken, while maintaining the flexibility to continue taking advantage of opportunities that the market can offer us.”

Franco Bernabè, the new Chairman of Cellnex, expressed satisfaction with the results reported by the company at the end of the first half. “I have carefully followed the company’s development since its IPO in 2015 and it seems to me an exemplary case of the transformation of a business model, of building a business project on a truly European scale, and of capability and excellence by the executive team in putting all of this in place. I am convinced that Cellnex has the necessary capabilities and resources to continue to play a leading role in the process of consolidating the sector in Europe and especially in the six countries in which we are already present.”

 

Business lines. Main indicators for the period

Infrastructure services for mobile telecommunications operators contributed 66% of total income, to the tune of €325 million, representing an increase of 14% with regard to June 2018.

Activity in broadcasting infrastructures contributed 24% of income, at € 117 million.

The business focused on security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure management (IoT and Smart cities) contributed 10% of revenue, totalling € 47 million.

As of 30 June, 49% of revenue and 58% of EBITDA were generated outside the Spanish market. Italy is the second largest market, accounting for 27% of revenues.

As of 30 June 2019, Cellnex had a total of 24,078 operative sites (8,664 in Spain,  8,330 in Italy, 3,192 in France, 804 in the Netherlands, 608 in the United Kingdom and 2,480 in Switzerland), with a further 1,719 nodes (DAS and Small Cells).

It is noteworthy that the number of DAS and Small Cells sites grew +c.20% in comparison to the first half of of 2018.

Like-for-like organic growth of points of presence in sites was up 5%  year on year, while the customer ratio per site (excluding changes to the perimeter) was up by 3.3%.

Total investments executed in the first six months of 2019 amounted to € 417 million, mostly for investments linked to generating new revenue streams, particularly the incorporation of new assets in Switzerland and the UK and continuity in the integration and roll-out of new sites in France, as well as improvements in efficiency, and maintenance of installed capacity.

 

Intregration and roll-out of new assets in Europe

In this period Cellnex has reached a number of growth agreements which, once concluded, will increase its portfolio of assets by about 15,000 in the European countries in which the company is present.

In May the company announced a Europe-wide agreement with Iliad – in France and Italy – and with Salt in Switzerland which will result in an increase of 10,700 sites (5,700 in France, 2,200 in Italy and 2,800 in Switzerland) in the current portfolio, with an investment for Cellnex of € 2.7 billion. In addition to these agreements, which are expected to be concluded in the second half of the year, is the roll-out of 4,000 new sites up to 2027 (2,500 in France and 1,000 in Italy for Iliad, and 500 for Salt in Switzerland) with an overall planned investment of € 1.35 billion.

In June Cellnex and BT announced that they had signed a long-term strategic collaboration agreement through which Cellnex acquired the operation and marketing rights of 220 tall telecoms towers in the UK. The agreement, worth 100 million GBP (approximately 113 million EUR), increases the number of sites that Cellnex will manage in the United Kingdom by almost 40%.

The overall investment of these projects, to be rolled out up to 2027, is in excess of € 4 billion. In terms of additional EBITDA, once all the roll-outs have been completed, the annual contribution could stand at € 510 million.

Debt structure

Cellnex closed the first half of 2019 with a stable long-term debt structure, with an average life of 5 years, an average cost of approximately 2.1%  (debt drawn down), and 79% at a fixed rate.

The Group’s net debt as of June 30 was € 2.298 billion compared to € 3.166 billion at the close of 2018.

Likewise, at July, Cellnex had access to immediate liquidity (cash & debt not drawn down) to the value of approximately € 5.500 billion.

On 25 June, Cellnex placed € 850 million in convertible bonds with maturity in 2028 that will earn a fixed interest rate of 0.50% per year. It is also worth mentioning the extension of the available credit lines of a total of € 2.600 billion (including 1.260 billion issued in Swiss francs).

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

Corporate governance

The Board of Directors agreed to appoint Franco Bernabè as the new non-executive Chairman of the company. Tobias Martinez remains in his role as CEO.

Cellnex’s Board of Directors comprises 12 directors, seven of whom are independent – approximately 60% of the Board. It also has four directors, making up 33% of the Board, thus complying with the CNMV’s recommendations on Good Corporate Governance for 2020.

In terms of the proportion of independents, gender diversity and the separation of the executive and non-executive functions, Cellnex adheres to best practice in Corporate Governance.

 

About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of 45,000 sites including forecast roll-outs up to 2027. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Cellnex’s business is structured in four major areas: telecommunication infrastructures 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) and “Standard Ethics” sustainability indexes.

Cellnex’s reference shareholders include ConnecT, with a 29.9% stake in the share capital, as well as CriteriaCaixa, Blackrock, Wellington Management Group and Canada Pension Plan, holding smaller stakes.

 

 

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