Helios Towers boosted by asset buys in 2021 - Mobile World Live

Helios Towers boosted by asset buys in 2021

17 MAR 2022

Helios Towers CEO Kash Pandya branded 2021 as one the infrastructure company’s best-ever years in terms of organic tenancy growth, while annual figures were also boosted by site acquisitions in Senegal and Madagascar.

Pandya, who is moving to a new role of non-executive deputy chairman in April, noted in an earning statement that further acquisitions are on course to be completed this year.

However, analysts from research company Jefferies noted the closing of announced deals in Malawi, Oman and Gabon will be later than the targeted date of early 2022. In addition, Helios Towers is no longer buying Airtel Africa tower assets in Chad.

For example, a purchase of Omantel’s passive tower infrastructure portfolio is now due to close in the second quarter. Acquisitions from Airtel Africa in Malawi and Gabon are set to be completed in the first and second half of the year, respectively.

During 2021, the number of sites increased 30 per cent to 9,560.

This reflects 507 organic site additions and the acquisition of 1,697. Tenancies rose 20 per cent to 18,776, boosted by 1,262 organic additions and 1,858 acquired.

Revenue increased by 8 per cent to $449.1 million and operating profit 5 per cent to $59 million.

Current COO and CEO-designate Tom Greenwood described 2021 as a “transformational year” for the company, with more changes to come in 2022 as Helios Towers continues to build its portfolio.

As a result of the expansion measures in 2021, the group is now targeting organic tenancy additions of 1,200 to 1,700 in 2022, compared with previous expectations of 1,000 to 1,500.

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Anne Morris

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist and contributes news and analysis to Mobile World Live.

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