Unaudited results for the 6 and 3 months ended 30 June 2020

Guidance for 2020 remains unchanged

Business underpinned by long-term contracted revenues with blue-chip mobile network operators

Delivering on our acquisition growth strategy

London, 13 August 2020: Helios Towers plc (“Helios Towers”, “the Group” or “the Company”), the independent telecommunications infrastructure company, today announces results for the 6 and 3 months to 30 June 2020.

  H1 2020 H1 2019 Change Q2 2020 Q1 2020 Change
Sites 7,092 6,882 +3% 7,092 6,991 +1%
Tenancies 14,906 14,100 +6% 14,906 14,677 +2%
Tenancy ratio 2.10x 2.05x +0.05x 2.10x 2.10x -
Revenue (US$m) 204.0 190.7 +7% 102.2 101.8 +0%
Adjusted EBITDA (US$m)1 109.1 99.0 +10% 55.1 54.0 +2%
Adjusted EBITDA margin1 53% 52% +1ppt 54% 53% +1ppt
Operating profit for the period (US$m) 29.3 12.7 +131% 17.2 12.1 +42%

 

Financial highlights

  • H1 2020 Group revenue increased by 7% year-on-year to US$204.0m (H1 2019: US$190.7m) driven by continued growth in the number of sites and tenancies across the Group.
    • Q2 2020 Group revenue increased slightly quarter-on-quarter to US$102.2m (Q1 2020: US$101.8m).
  • H1 2020 Adjusted EBITDA increased by 10% year-on-year to US$109.1m (H1 2019: US$99.0m), reflecting both tenancy growth and continued improvements in operational efficiency, with H1 2020 Adjusted EBITDA margin at 53% (H1 2019: 52%), up 1ppt.
    • Q2 2020 Adjusted EBITDA increased quarter-on-quarter to US$55.1m (Q1 2020: US$54.0m), with Q2 2020 Adjusted EBITDA margin at 54% (Q1 2020: 53%), up 1ppt.
  • H1 2020 operating profit increased by 131% year-on-year to US$29.3m (H1 2019: US$12.7m).
    • Q2 2020 operating profit increased by 42% quarter-on-quarter to US$17.2m (Q1 2020: US$12.1m).
  • Successfully completed refinancing with the issuance of US$750m Senior Notes due 2025 with 7.00% coupon alongside raising of new US$70m revolving credit facility and new term loan of up to US$200m which will be utilised predominately on expansionary opportunities.

Operational highlights

  • On 12 August Helios Towers signed an agreement with Free Senegal, the second largest mobile operator in Senegal, to acquire its 1,220 tower portfolio for an upfront cash consideration of €160 million (c.$189 million). Additionally 400 build-to-suit sites have been committed to be rolled out over the next 5 years. Helios Towers have entered into a 15 year service agreement with Free Senegal for the provision of hosting and energy services on the acquired sites and the build-to-suit sites to be rolled out in the future.
  • Helios Towers continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on its operations and to date there has been no significant impact. The telecommunications sector has been classified as an ‘essential service’ in our markets, allowing us to operate at our normal high levels of service, with record power uptime in June 2020, as well as roll out of new tenancies.
  • Increase in tenancies of 806 tenants year-on-year to 14,906 tenants (H1 2019: 14,100 tenants). Q2 2020 tenancies increased by 229 quarter-on-quarter to 14,906 (Q1 2020: 14,677).
  • Increase in sites of 210 sites year-on-year to 7,092 sites (H1 2019: 6,882 sites). Q2 2020 number of sites increased by 101 quarter-on-quarter to 7,092 (Q1 2020: 6,991).
  • Tenancy ratio increased year-on-year by 0.05x to 2.10x (H1 2019: 2.05x). Q2 2020 tenancy ratio constant quarter-on-quarter at 2.10x.
  • Two in-market acquisitions were signed in Q2 2020 which is in line with the full year capex guidance.
    • 29 June 2020: Helios Towers plc’s South African subsidiary acquired 46 sites from Eagle Towers, with a further 19 sites expected as part of this transaction later in the year.
    • 30 June 2020: Helios Towers Congo Brazzaville signed a Managed Service Agreement for 34 sites which are in the process of being acquired from Airtel Congo S.A.

1 Refer to full definitions in the Alternative Performance Measures section in this announcement.

2020 Outlook and guidance

  • Our H1 2020 performance has been broadly in line with expectations and there has been no significant operational impact from COVID-19 to date.
  • We remain active and vigilant both to monitor and anticipate potential risks, and to identify opportunities for incremental growth.
  • Our guidance for 2020 remains unchanged.

Kash Pandya, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The first half of 2020 saw our business deliver in line with expectations, in the face of seismic disruptions to the wider global commercial backdrop due to the COVID‐19 impact. We have delivered strong top‐line growth and Adjusted EBITDA performance which is testament to the resilience as well as the power and leverage of our operating model, and to the approach of our teams in central functions and in the field. We anticipate that these attributes will continue to serve the business well going forward, not least in the near‐term as the challenges of the pandemic currently remain evident.

Additionally during the second quarter we have been able to optimise our funding structure and capacity in order to ensure Helios Towers is primed to execute on the right growth opportunities for our shareholders. This has been demonstrated by our recently announced entrance into Senegal, our sixth market, through the signing of an agreement to acquire over 1,200 sites from Free Senegal. We are very excited about the Senegalese opportunity which aligns perfectly with our strategic ambitions of broadening our footprint within the African telecoms infrastructure market.”

Investor Relations

Manjit Dhillon

                                         

                  +44 (0)776 723 7010

 

Media Relations
Edward Bridges / Stephanie Ellis FTI Consulting LLP +44 (0)20 3727 1000

 

Read the full announcement here

Helios Towers management will host a conference call for analysts and institutional investors at 09.30 BST on Thursday, 13 August 2020. Dial in details for the conference call are:

Dial in details for the conference call are:
Europe & International +44 20 3936 2999
South Africa (local) 087 550 8441
USA (local) 1 646 664 1960
Passcode 739095

 

About Helios Towers

Helios Towers is a leading independent telecommunications infrastructure company in Africa, having established one of the continent's most extensive tower portfolios with close to 7,100 towers across five countries. It builds, owns and operates telecom passive infrastructure, providing services to mobile network operators.

Helios Towers owns and operates more sites than any other operator in each of Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”), and Congo Brazzaville. It is also a leading operator in Ghana with a strong urban presence and established a presence in South Africa in 2019.

Helios Towers pioneered the model in Africa of buying towers that were held by single operators and providing services utilising the tower infrastructure to the seller and other operators. This allows wireless operators to outsource non-core tower-related activities, enabling them to focus their capital and managerial resources on providing higher quality services more cost-effectively.

For further information go to:

www.heliostowers.com

To view this announcement on the LSE go to:

https://www.londonstockexchange.com/news-article/tidm/headline/14652023