Cellnex Telecoms’ towering ambitions see half-year revenues hit €723m

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The Spanish company is Europe’s largest listed towerco and spent more than €2.5 billion on acquisitions in the first half of 2020.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) rose 64%, year-on-year, to €527 million.

Telecoms revenues were up up 48% on the same period last year, with infrastructure services for mobile operators bringing in 77% of the total.

Even so, Cellnex has debts of s carrying €4.67 billion and posted a net loss for the half year of €43 million due to acquisition tour de force which began in 2019 and continues, and higher levels of amortisation and financial expenses. 

Spending spree

It was quite a shopping list – OMTEL and NOS in Portugal, and Arquiva’s telecoms unit in the UK which is still in the works.

In February, Cellnex and Bouygues Telecom announced a strategic agreement in France to deploy and operate a fibre optic network to support and speed up the roll-out of 5G. The planned investment up to 2027 is €1 billion.

It will be used to roll out a 31,500 km network that will interconnect the telecoms towers that serve Bouygues Telecom (5,000 of which belong to Cellnex) and link data processing centres to support edge computing.

The agreement also envisages the deployment of up to 90 new metropolitan offices between now and 2027, to add to the 150 centres agreed with Bouygues Telecom (88 in December 2018 and 62 in February 2019).

Future debt

In the face of all that, the company has revised its EBIDTA forecast upwards, to between €1.16 billion and €1.18 billion. Even so, it expects to report losses for the “coming quarters” although it didn’t specify for how many.

Previously the predicted EBIDTA range was €1.065 billion to €1.085 billion.

At the end of the first half of the year, Cellnex had 40,505 operational sites across Europe, and 2,090 small cell and distributed antenna systems.