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Key highlights (Q1 2021)

Financial highlights

  • Revenue for the three months to 31 March 2021 increased by 2% year-on-year to US$103.6m (Q1 2020: US$101.8m), driven by tenancy growth across the Group.
    • While underlying growth continued as expected, reported revenue decreased by 2% quarter-on-quarter, driven by a US$3m decrease in DRC revenue following a catch-up payment for amendment revenue in the fourth quarter.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the three months to 31 March 2021 increased by 3% year-on-year to US$55.8m (Q1 2020: US$54.0m). Adjusted EBITDA margin of 54% reflects a 1ppt year-on-year increase (Q1 2020: 53%).
    • Q1 2021 Adjusted EBITDA declined by 7% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: US$60.1m), driven by the decrease in DRC revenues and higher costs in that market following an increase in the DRC licence fee to 3% of local revenues.
  • Portfolio free cash flow for the three months to 31 March 2021 decreased by 19% year-on-year to US$37.0m (Q1 2020: US$45.9m), due to timing of corporate income tax payments and non-discretionary capex.
    • Q1 2021 portfolio free cash flow declined by 10% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: US$41.1m).
  • Net leverage of 3.0x remained flat year-on-year and increased by +0.1x quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: 2.9x), below the Group’s target range of 3.5x–4.5x.
  • Business underpinned by long term contracted revenues of US$2.8bn, of which 99% is from large multinational MNOs, with an average remaining life of 7 years.
    • Revenue for the three months to 31 March 2021 increased by 2% year-on-year to US$103.6m (Q1 2020: US$101.8m), driven by tenancy growth across the Group.
  • While underlying growth continued as expected, reported revenue decreased by 2% quarter-on-quarter, driven by a US$3m decrease in DRC revenue following a catch-up payment for amendment revenue in the fourth quarter.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the three months to 31 March 2021 increased by 3% year-on-year to US$55.8m (Q1 2020: US$54.0m). Adjusted EBITDA margin of 54% reflects a 1ppt year-on-year increase (Q1 2020: 53%).
    • Q1 2021 Adjusted EBITDA declined by 7% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: US$60.1m), driven by the decrease in DRC revenues and higher costs in that market following an increase in the DRC licence fee to 3% of local revenues.
  • Portfolio free cash flow for the three months to 31 March 2021 decreased by 19% year-on-year to US$37.0m (Q1 2020: US$45.9m), due to timing of corporate income tax payments and non-discretionary capex.
    • Q1 2021 portfolio free cash flow declined by 10% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: US$41.1m).
  • Net leverage of 3.0x remained flat year-on-year and increased by +0.1x quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: 2.9x), below the Group’s target range of 3.5x–4.5x.
  • Business underpinned by long term contracted revenues of US$2.8bn, of which 99% is from large multinational MNOs, with an average remaining life of 7 years.
  • Revenue for the three months to 31 March 2021 increased by 2% year-on-year to US$103.6m (Q1 2020: US$101.8m), driven by tenancy growth across the Group.
    • While underlying growth continued as expected, reported revenue decreased by 2% quarter-on-quarter, driven by a US$3m decrease in DRC revenue following a catch-up payment for amendment revenue in the fourth quarter.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the three months to 31 March 2021 increased by 3% year-on-year to US$55.8m (Q1 2020: US$54.0m). Adjusted EBITDA margin of 54% reflects a 1ppt year-on-year increase (Q1 2020: 53%).
    • Q1 2021 Adjusted EBITDA declined by 7% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: US$60.1m), driven by the decrease in DRC revenues and higher costs in that market following an increase in the DRC licence fee to 3% of local revenues.
  • Portfolio free cash flow for the three months to 31 March 2021 decreased by 19% year-on-year to US$37.0m (Q1 2020: US$45.9m), due to timing of corporate income tax payments and non-discretionary capex.
    • Q1 2021 portfolio free cash flow declined by 10% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: US$41.1m).
  • Net leverage of 3.0x remained flat year-on-year and increased by +0.1x quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: 2.9x), below the Group’s target range of 3.5x–4.5x.
  • Business underpinned by long term contracted revenues of US$2.8bn, of which 99% is from large multinational MNOs, with an average remaining life of 7 years.

Read the Q1 2021 results announcement here

Operational highlights

  • Operational performance continues at very high levels, achieving 99.99% power uptime for the fourth consecutive quarter. In January and February 2021, the Company achieved less than one minute downtime per tower per week, the best power uptime performance in the Company’s history.

  • Tenancies increased by 1,055 year-on-year to 15,732 tenants (Q1 2020: 14,677 tenants). Tenancies increased by 76 quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: 15,656), reflecting typical seasonality in the first quarter.

  • Sites increased by 367 year-on-year to 7,358 sites (Q1 2020: 6,991 sites). Sites increased by 2 quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2020: 7,356), driven by site additions in South Africa and Ghana, partially offset by site consolidations in Tanzania.

  • Tenancy ratio increased year-on-year by 0.04x to 2.14x (Q1 2020: 2.10x). Q1 2021 tenancy ratio marginally increased by 0.01x quarter-on-quarter to 2.14x (Q4 2020: 2.13x).

  • Helios Towers continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on its operations. The telecommunications sector has been classified as an ‘essential service’ in our markets, allowing us to operate at our normal high levels of service. To date, there has been minimal impact on the Group’s delivery of service and operational execution.

Read the Q1 2021 results announcement here