Cellnex Telecom reports impressive growth, bolsters position in key markets

Cellnex Telecom, a leading European telecommunications infrastructure company, has announced a remarkable 17 percent increase in revenue, reaching €2 billion during the first half of 2023.
Cellnex telecom tower businessThe telecom tower company’s strong performance was driven by its Infrastructure Services for mobile Telecommunications operators (TIS business), which contributed €1.824 billion, marking a substantial 19.3 percent increase. Additionally, its Broadcasting infrastructure activity accounted for €115 million (5.8 percent of revenue), and solutions for smart urban infrastructure management and emergency services networks contributed €62 million (3.1 percent of revenue).

As of June 30, 2023, Cellnex operated a total of 112,737 sites across Europe. France, Italy, and Poland held the highest number of operational sites, with 25,181, 21,743, and 15,736 sites, respectively. The United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, and Denmark also had significant site numbers. Furthermore, the company managed 8,541 DAS nodes and small cells.

During the first half of 2023, Cellnex made significant investments totaling approximately €1.5 billion. These investments were primarily allocated to the ongoing BTS (Base Transceiver Station) programs in multiple countries (€709 million) and the acquisition of a 30 percent stake in OnTower Poland (€510 million).

Cellnex’s CEO, Marco Patuano, expressed his satisfaction with the company’s progress and reaffirmed the objectives set for the Group last November. He emphasized the focus on organic growth, with the aim of generating positive free cash flow by 2024 and achieving investment-grade status by the same year.

To strengthen its presence in the French market, Cellnex extended its agreements with prominent French telecom operators, SFR and Bouygues Telecom. With SFR, Cellnex will deploy Points of Presence (PoPs) on existing and new sites under a 20-year service provision contract, involving an investment of up to €275 million over six years. The agreement is expected to yield an annual EBITDA of €35 million.

Furthermore, in partnership with Bouygues Telecom, Cellnex extended the fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT) project roll-out initiated in 2020 through Nexloop. This extension, lasting until 2050, includes the construction of up to 65 new metropolitan offices for data processing centers (Edge Computing). The project, associated with an investment of up to €275 million over six years, is expected to generate an annual EBITDA of €30 million.

Cellnex’s presence in Poland has been significantly boosted by its acquisition of 100 percent control of OnTower Poland. With this acquisition, Cellnex now manages and operates the sites of the mobile operator Play. OnTower Poland operates a total of 8,500 sites in Poland and plans to roll out around 3,400 new sites by 2030. The company holds a 20-year service provision contract with Play, extendable for additional successive ten-year periods.

Cellnex remains optimistic about its future prospects, reiterating its outlook for 2025, with anticipated revenue of €4.1 – 4.3 billion, EBITDA of €3.3 – 3.5 billion, and free and recurring cash flow of €2.0 – 2.2 billion. As the company continues to expand its portfolio and partnerships, it is poised to play a pivotal role in the European telecommunications infrastructure landscape.