Helios Towers, an independent tower company in Africa, today announced its Q2 2021 earnings (through its H1 2021 Results) and provided updates on its operations, portfolio growth through M&A, and CEO transition from Kash Pandya to Tom Greenwood.

Financial Performance in Q2 2021 – Helios Towers

In Q2 2021, Helios Towers reported revenue of $108.8m, a 5.0% increase quarter-over-quarter, and adjusted EBITDA of $58.4m, a 4.7% increase quarter-over-quarter. Therefore, the company’s EBITDA margin was 53.7% in Q2 2021, a ~20 bps decline quarter-over-quarter.

Contracted Revenues

Helios Towers has secured long-term contracted revenues of $3.5bn from multinational wireless carriers. Specifically, as of Q2 2021, this contracted revenue has an average remaining term of 7.4 years.

Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)

Helios Towers’ return on invested capital (ROIC) declined 2.7%, from 14.5% for full-year 2020 to 11.8% for Q2 2021 (annualized). However, the company notes that this decline represents a temporary ROIC impact during the execution phase of its M&A strategy.

Operational Performance in Q2 2021 – Helios Towers

As of June 30, 2021, Helios Towers had 8.6k tower sites in Africa with a tenancy ratio of 1.99x. Indeed, this equates to 17.1k tenants with equipment on the company’s towers.

Pro forma for all pending acquisitions (see below) and committed build-to-suit (BTS) programs, Helios Towers’ site count will increase to 14.7k towers across 11 markets in Africa and the Middle East.

Helios Towers Pro Forma Characteristics and Presence
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During the quarter ended June 30, 2021, the company added 1.2k towers to its portfolio. At the same time, net tenancy additions were 1.4k during the quarter.

Notably, the growth in towers and tenancies during Q2 2021 was primarily attributable to Helios Towers closing the acquisition of Free Senegal’s 1.2k tower assets. Additionally, Helios Towers’ tenancy ratio declined by 0.15x quarter-over-quarter. This decline was also related to the acquisition of Free Senegal’s less-tenanted towers, which have a 1.05x tenancy ratio.

Portfolio Growth – M&A and Tower Builds

During the first-half of 2021, Helios Towers announced five acquisitions across Africa and the Middle East. The company expects to close these deals over the coming nine months.

Firstly, in March 2021, Helios Towers announced transactions with Airtel Africa for the acquisition and roll-out of 2.5k+ tower sites. Specifically, these sites are in four new African markets, namely Madagascar, Malawi, Chad, and Gabon.

Secondly, in May 2021, Helios Towers agreed to acquire 2.9k tower sites from Omantel, the largest wireless carrier of Oman in the Middle East, for $575m.

CEO Transition – Kash Pandya to Tom Greenwood

Helios Towers’ quarter was distinct given the decision of Kash Pandya to retire as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in April 2022. Upon his retirement, Kash Pandya will move into a new role as non-executive Deputy Chairman of Helios Towers.

Tom Greenwood, currently the Chief Operating Officer of Helios Towers, will formally assume the Chief Executive Officer role from Kash Pandya following the AGM in April 2022. Notably, Tom Greenwood joined Helios Towers in 2010. He then became the company’s Chief Financial Officer in 2015, followed by its Chief Operating Officer in 2020.

Adam Simmons covers Towers for Dgtl Infra, including American Tower (NYSE: AMT), Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI), SBA Communications (NASDAQ: SBAC), Cellnex Telecom (BME: CLNX), Vantage Towers (ETR: VTWR), IHS Holding (NYSE: IHS), and many more. Within Towers, Adam focuses on the sub-sectors of ground-based cell towers, rooftop sites, broadcast / radio towers, and 5G.

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