Helios Towers has a strong platform for profitable growth, with leading positions in high-growth markets. We’re supported by our extensive asset base, a pioneering excellence and innovation programme, deep and long-term client relationships, high barriers to entry and a favourable regulatory environment.
Market leader in 3 out of our 4 chosen countries
Helios Towers is the market leader in Tanzania (63% market share(1)), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (63%) and Congo Brazzaville (49%). We are also the sole independent owner/operator in those territories.
In our other market, Ghana, we enjoy a strong urban presence, and with it excellent growth prospects driven by higher voice and data usage.
By entering our markets early, we created a legacy advantage of owning the most attractive sites in the prime urban areas. We have built on that strength with our skills in reliable power management and tower planning/deployment, setting a high barrier to entry.
(1) By number of marketable towers
Supported by a positive macro environment
Impressive GDP growth, rising living standards and a markedly young and mobile population are combining to create strong growth prospects for years to come.
In our markets, over 71% of the population is under 30. This key target group is driving our customers’ need to meet the demand for voice and, in particular, data consumed through social media, streaming, mobile banking and the myriad possibilities of the internet.
In addition, some 20 million more people are expected to move into cities, where our network is strong.
Helios Towers is therefore well positioned to enjoy the resulting growth in under-penetrated markets, and where there is no fixed line alternative.
Good earnings visibility
Helios Towers operates long-term contracts with typical durations of 10-15 years. In addition, these contracts are hard-currency pegged (around 60% of our revenues are USD/EUR-linked) with clear escalators to protect against inflation and power price spikes.
This visibility is further strengthened by a diverse, high quality customer base with no single customer reliance; 80% of our revenues come from Africa’s Big-Five MNOs and 18% from high growth challengers.
Market-leading excellence and innovation
Helios Towers has been a pioneer, bringing Lean Six Sigma practices to the African market and generating measurable and substantial benefits.
Since 2015, HT has realised capex savings of $36 million; has streamlined its suppliers down from 60 to 12; taken employees per tower from 8.6 to 5.7; and achieved an 85% reduction in downtime.
We have also generated significant savings through our innovative use of solar, hybrid and grid connections, with the future upside kept and a payback period of only 2-3 years. In 2017, this also avoided emissions of more than 8,250 tonnes of CO2.
Well positioned for future growth
Our four markets are projected to see growth of some 47 million new subscribers by the year 2023.
We stand ready to support that growth, building in the right locations to serve the operators’ network expansion plans. But even where MNOs choose not to roll out coverage, we are well positioned to gain instead from amendment revenue as they alter and increase their tenancies.
Each market also offers the possibility of bolt-on purchases, both in neighbouring African markets and beyond, as well as the potential for us to leverage our expertise in areas such as small cells, fibre backhaul and data centres.