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Cellnex’s revenue for 2023 exceeds EUR 4 billion

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.

CT Bureau

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