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  • 29 Feb 2024
  • ·
  • Finance

Cellnex’s revenue for 2023 exceeds EUR 4 billion

Results FY 2023

EBITDA growth (+14%) driven by organic growth (+6.4%) and consolidation of the Company’s geographic footprint

Positive free cash flow of EUR 150 million, meeting the target set for 2024 ahead of schedule

Cellnex reduced net debt by EUR 200 million compared to the Q3 of 2023 and reiterated its commitment to obtaining an investment-grade rating from S&P in 2024

Cellnex will hold a Capital Markets Day in London on 5 March during which it will update the market on its strategic priorities, roadmap and objectives for the short to medium term

  • The 2023 financial indicators[2] reflect the strength of the organic business and the consolidation of the Group’s geographic footprint:
    • Revenue[3]: EUR 4,053 million (vs. 3,499 million in 2022).
      • EUR 3,659 million if re-billing from energy price pass-throughs is excluded (vs. 3,180 million 2022) +15%
    • Adjusted EBITDA: EUR 3,008 million (vs. 2,630 million in 2022) +14%.
    • Recurring Levered Free Cash Flow (RLFCF): EUR 1,545 million (vs. 1,368 million 2022) +13%.
    • Free Cash Flow (FCF): EUR 150 million (vs -1,115 million 2022).
    • Solid organic growth: +6.4% in points of presence (PoPs) at the group’s sites.
  • Net financial debt[4] amounts to EUR 17,287 million. Currently 76% of the debt is tied to a fixed rate.
  • The Company has achieved the main goals set for 2023 in its ESG Masterplan 2021-2025 with regards to the environment, social responsibility and corporate governance; and has been selected to be part of the selective Dow Jones European Sustainability Index (DJSI). Cellnex is the first and only telecommunications infrastructure operator present in this index, not only at European level, but also globally.

 

Barcelona, 29th February 2024. Cellnex Telecom has presented its results for the close of financial year 2023. Revenue1 amounted to EUR 4,053 million (+16%) and adjusted EBITDA grew to 3,008 million (+14%), which, along with organic growth (+6.4%), reflects the consolidation of its geographic footprint.

Free cash flow was EUR 150 million vs -1,115 million in the same period the previous year, due mainly to the effect of the sale of sites in France, in accordance with the remedies established by the French Competition Authority (FCA) following the purchase of Hivory in 2021.

Amortizations (+10% vs 2022) and financial costs (+11% vs 2022), both associated with the assets acquired by the Group, caused a negative net accounting result of EUR -297 million.

Anne Bouverot, Chair of the Cellnex Board, said: “2023 was a year of transformation at Cellnex. At the end of 2022, after years of significant growth through mergers and acquisitions, we announced a “next chapter” to focus on integrating these acquisitions and on accelerating organic growth. Several notable changes in corporate governance were put in place to anchor the new vision. In March, the Board appointed me as its Chairperson and in June, Marco Patuano was appointed as our new CEO at the Annual Shareholders meeting. Since then, the Company has strengthened the execution of this next chapter, by giving more accountability to the countries with a new organizational model, by realizing some selective disposals, and by continuing to deliver strong financial results”.

Marco Patuano, CEO of Cellnex, stated: “In 2023, Cellnex delivered excellent commercial performance and consistent operational execution, with revenues and EBITDA well on track and our free cash flow turning positive earlier than anticipated. We have been able to meet our financial targets as well as industrial KPIs, thanks to both a smart control of CAPEX expenditure and a strict and disciplined control of our cost structure. Throughout the year we made good progress on reducing debt thanks to the disposal of sites in France and the deal in the Nordics with Stonepeak.”

Marco Patuano added, “We are eager to share what’s next for Cellnex and our “Next Chapter” roadmap with the investor community at the upcoming Capital Markets Day in London on 5 March. We remain committed to operational excellence and results delivery. There will be more to share in a few days.”

Selective divestment strategy aligned with the Company’s roadmap

In 2023 Cellnex finalised the sale in France of 2,353 sites to Phoenix Tower International (PTI) and the joint venture of PTI and Bouygues Telecom in accordance with the remedies established by the French Competition Authority (FCA) following the purchase of Hivory in 2021. Cellnex received EUR 631 million for the sale of these assets, to which it plans to add an additional EUR 360 million –after finalising the transfer of the approximately 870 remaining sites– in 2024.

Likewise, in November, it closed a deal with Stonepeak for the sale of a 49% stake in Cellnex Sweden and Cellnex Denmark for EUR 730 million equivalent to a multiple of 24x 2024E EBITDAaL.

In line with the strategy of focusing on activities and businesses around telecommunications towers (its core business) and the assets adjacent to them, Cellnex has closed the agreement to sell its private networks business unit to Boldyn Networks, primarily comprising Edzcom, the Group’s Finnish subsidiary specialised in connectivity solutions for private networks in industrial complexes and environments.

Cellnex continues to evaluate the possibility of monetising other assets to crystallise value and accelerate the process to achieve investment grade from S&P.

 

Financial structure

  • Group net debt –excluding lease liabilities– stood at EUR 17,287 million (vs. EUR c.17,475 million in the Q3 of 2023). Currently 76% of debt is referenced to a fixed rate.
  • In July the Company closed the issuance of a convertible bond for EUR 1 billion maturing in 2030 to repurchase a convertible bond of 800 million maturing in 2026, thereby extending debt maturities, increasing the conversion price and reducing dilution in terms of FCF per share.
  • Cellnex currently has access to immediate liquidity (cash and undrawn debt) of approximately EUR 4,588
  • Cellnex’s total tax contribution (own taxes, third-party taxes) in fiscal year 2023 –applying the cash criterion under the OECD methodology–, amounted to EUR 465 million. Of this total, 269 million correspond to own taxes and essentially include taxes on profit, local taxes, fees and the corporate social security contribution. Since 2020 the Company has followed the Code of Good Tax Practices and presents its Annual Fiscal Transparency Report.
  • Cellnex maintains Fitch’s investment grade rating (BBB-) with a stable outlook. Meanwhile, S&P has a BB+ rating with a positive outlook on the Company.

 

Business lines and main indicators of the period

  • Infrastructure services for mobile telecommunications operators (TIS business) contributed 91% to revenue (3,685 million), up 16% on 2022.
  • The broadcasting infrastructure business contributed 6% of revenue, with 230 million.
  • The business focused on security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure management (MCPN and IoT and Smart cities) contributed 3% of revenue, totalling EUR 138 million.
  • As of 31 December, Cellnex had a total of 113,175 operational sites (without taking into account the 16,080 sites forecast for roll-out up to 2030): 23,737 in France, 22,160 in Italy, 16,040 in Poland, 13,218 in the United Kingdom, 10,535 in Spain, 6,541 in Portugal, 5,487 in Switzerland, 4,616 in Austria, 4,104 in the Netherlands, 3,114 in Sweden, 1,985 in Ireland and 1,638 in Denmark; to which we should add 9,678 DAS nodes and Small Cells.
  • Organic growth of points of presence at the sites stood at +6.4% in relation to 2022, with 2% from new colocations in existing sites, leading to a total of 4,688 –with Portugal and Italy standing out in this area–, and 3.2% coming from the roll-out of 4,473 new sites in this period, mainly due to the progress made in the BTS (Built-to-Suit) programmes in France, Italy and Poland.

 

About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex is Europe’s largest operator of towers and telecom infrastructures, enabling operators to access an extensive network of telecommunications infrastructures on a shared-used basis, helping to reduce access barriers and improve services in the remote areas. The company manages a portfolio of over 138,000 sites, including planned rollouts up to 2030, across 12 European countries, with significant presence in Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland. Listed on the Spanish stock exchange, Cellnex is a constituent of the IBEX 35 and Euro Stoxx 100 indices and holds prominent positions in major sustainability indexes, including CDP, Sustainalytics, FTSE4Good, MSCI and DJSI Europe.

 

[1] Including re-billing from energy price pass-throughs

[2] Excel support document available at www.cellnex.com

[3] Corresponds to operating income less advances to customers. See consolidated financial statements for the period ended 31 December 2023.

[4] Excluding lease liabilities

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