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Cellnex closes 2022 with revenues of EUR 3.5 billion

Cellnex Telecom has presented its results for the close of financial year 2022. Revenue stood at EUR 3.499 billion (+38%) and adjusted EBITDA grew to EUR 2.63 billion (+37%) which together reflect both organic growth and the effect of the consolidation of asset acquisitions in 2021 and 2022. Leveraged recurring free cash flow was EUR 1.368 billion (+39%).

The net accounting result was negative (EUR -297 million 2022 vs -363 million 2021), due to the effect of amortisations (+38% vs 2021) and financial costs (+20% vs 2021) associated with the consolidation of acquisitions and integrations within the Group and the consequent expansion of the perimeter.

Bertrand Kan, Chairman of Cellnex, said: “2022 was a year of change for the company. We consolidated our growth and strengthened our position as Europe’s telecommunications infrastructure leader with more than 130,000 sites in 12 countries. It was also a year of macroeconomic uncertainty marked by higher inflation and interest rates, and we have adapted our strategy to a more challenging environment. In November, we announced a new capital allocation policy to optimise our returns, with a greater focus on growing the business organically. A key goal of the plan is to obtain an investment grade rating from S&P adding to the investment grade rating we already hold with Fitch. This is a new chapter our evolution.”

Tobias Martinez, CEO of Cellnex, highlighted how “through the successful integration of recent acquisitions, our key financial metrics –revenue, EBITDA and recurring cashflow– have grown over 37%, meeting the guidance we provided for the year. We have also enjoyed significant organic growth, in line with our medium-term projections.”

“The change of the macroeconomic environment,” continued the CEO, “has obviously had an influence on our activities, particularly with regards to managing our costs. After a long period with low inflation, in 2022 it increased significantly in most of our markets. Cellnex has very long-term contracts with its operator customers, most of which include CPI adjustments. While this has served us well, we’ve also had to manage our costs carefully. We were also affected by the rise in financing costs, although most of our debt is fixed rate, which limits the impact of rising interest rates on our financial performance.”

Business lines. Main indicators for the period

  • Infrastructure Services for mobile Telecommunications operators contributed 90.4% of revenues (EUR 3.163 billion), up 42.8% on 2021.
  • Broadcasting infrastructures activity contributed 6.4% of revenues, at EUR 224 million.
  • The business focused on security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure management (IoT and
  • Smart cities) contributed 3.2% of revenues, totalling EUR 112 million.
  • As of December 31, Cellnex had a total of 110,830 operational sites (without taking into account the 19,759 sites planned to be rolled out by 2030): 4,529 in Austria, 1,563 in Denmark, 10,462 in Spain, 24,598 in France, 1,921 in Ireland, 21,287 in Italy, 4,079 in the
  • Netherlands, 15,298 in Poland, 6,398 in Portugal, 12,410 in the United Kingdom, 2,864 in Sweden and 5,421 in Switzerland; along with 7,539 DAS nodes and Small Cells.
  • Organic growth of the points of presence in the sites was 6% higher year on year, including the effect of the roll-out of new sites during the period.

Financial structure

  • The company’s net financial debt –as of February 2023, excluding lease liabilities– stood at EUR 16.9 billion. 77% of the debt is at a fixed rate.
  • As of February 2023, Cellnex had available liquidity (cash and undrawn debt) of approximately EUR 4.4 billion.
  • Cellnex issues maintain their “investment grade” rating from Fitch (BBB-) with a stable outlook, confirmed in January. In turn, S&P maintains the BB+ rating with a positive outlook confirmed in November.
  • Cellnex’s total tax contribution (own taxes, third-party taxes) in fiscal year 2022 –applying the cash criterion under the OECD methodology–, amounted to EUR 513 million. Of this total, 191 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 does not rule out opening up the capital of certain subsidiaries to crystallize value and accelerate the investment grade process.

Milestones 2022: concluding the operation with Hutchison in the UK and the focus on organic growth with industrial agreements in Cellnex’s main markets

In November, Cellnex concluded the agreement with CK Hutchison in the UK (which includes interests in and income derived from up to 6,600 sites, once the BTS Programme has been completed), following approval by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the Final Undertakings proposed by Cellnex and CK Hutchison in May, and the agreement to transfer a package of around 1,100 sites to the British telecommunications infrastructures operator Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG).

This was the last of the set of acquisitions announced in November 2020 and concluded between Cellnex and CK Hutchison in Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom itself, with an overall investment of around EUR 10 billion.

In parallel, the Company has expanded its collaboration with Telefónica in Spain through an industrial agreement that includes the renewal of service contracts linked to 4,500 sites for a period of 30 years. Also in Spain, in the field of broadcasting infrastructures, RTVE awarded Cellnex the broadcasting rights for its radio and television signals for the next five years.

In Portugal, the company has expanded collaboration with NOS, in accordance with the agreements signed in 2020 when it acquired the infrastructure portfolio from the Portuguese operator, and has reached an agreement with Digi through which the mobile operator will deploy 2,000 PoPS (Points of Presence) at Cellnex sites in Portugal.

In the United Kingdom, Cellnex extended the current framework contract for the provision of services with BT through a multi-decade agreement.

CT Bureau

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