Helios Towers targets cost cuts

Helios Towers targets cost cuts

Helios Towers highlighted moves to lower capex for 2023 and focus on organic growth this year, as the company reported boosts to revenue and operating profit. 

Capex for the tower company in 2022 was US$765 million, this will be cut down to between US$170 million-US$210 million. 

Speaking to Developing Telecoms, Helios Towers group CEO Tom Greenwood (pictured) noted the bulk of its capex spend last year was for expansions into Oman (Omantel) and Malawi (Airtel).

“We were really focused on geographically expanding the business through mergers and acquisitions to double the size of the business in the last two years. Now we’re focused on organic growth which means way lower capex to drive up the returns in the short term through organic tenancy growth.”

Greenwood added operators across its nine markets are expanding coverage, launching 5G or upgrading their networks, which gives Helios the confidence to grow organically this year. 

Helios Towers group CFO Manjit Dhillon said the company is still on course to bolster its portfolio to 22,000 towers by 2026, the company currently has 13,553 towers up from 9,560 year-on-year (YoY). 

Financial results

Revenue for the full 2022 financial year was up from US$449.1 to US$560.7 million, a 25% increase YoY, driven by organic growth. Operating profit also increased YoY from US$59 million to US$80.3 million, a boost of 36%, despite seeing a slight hit due to the acquisition of sites in 2022. 

Adjusted EBITDA increased 18% YoY to US$282.8m driven by “record” tenancy growth. The group is aiming for an adjusted EBITDA of US$350m – US$365m in 2023. 

The company gained 5,716 tenancies giving it a total of 24,492 at the end of its fiscal 2022 year. Among the new tenancies, 1,601 was organic and 4,115 were acquired, with a huge bulk stemming from its acquisition of Omantel towers. Looking ahead the company is looking to add 1,600 to 2,100 towers this year, 40% of which is anticipated to be new sites. 

Helios Towers operates in nine developing markets and counts major MNOs as tenants such as MTN, Orange and Vodacom.  

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