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Cellnex posts wider net loss in first half, attributes to expansion

Spain’s Cellnex posted on Thursday a first-half net loss of 193 million euros ($215 million), 14% wider than a year ago, which Europe’s largest mobile phone tower operator attributed to its expansion, even as acquisitions have slowed down.

Cellnex’s expanding network across Europe boosted its revenues by 18.4% to 2 billion euros, while lifting adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) by 16% to 1.5 billion euros.

As it shifted its strategy last year towards reducing its debt and obtaining a credit rating upgrade, Cellnex on Thursday maintained its commitment of achieving that upgrade at the latest by 2024, as well as reaching a positive free cash flow. It also kept its revenues and EBITDA outlook for 2025.

“We continue to see momentum in the business with strong growth across all of our industrial and financial metrics in the first half of the year,” chief executive Marco Patuano said in a statement. Patuano took over in June after weeks of board tensions over the succession process.

“All our strategic pillars – focus on organic growth, CAPEX discipline and efficiencies – are confirmed,” added Patuano.

The Barcelona-based group announced that this month it had closed a loan deal worth 315 million euros with the European Investment Bank to finance the rollout of 5G infrastructure in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Poland.

Cellnex invested around 1.5 billion euros in the first half, mainly for new infrastructure and acquiring a remaining 30% of its Polish subsidiary.

As of June, its net debt stood at 17.9 billion euros and it had access to immediate liquidity of approximately 3.7 billion euros. Reuters

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