Helios Towers (HTWS.L) narrowed its losses in the first half of 2021 during which it closed the acquisition of Free Senegal's tower assets, its first foray into the country, and announced five further acquisitions across Africa and the Middle East.
The FTSE 250 (^FTMC) company, which owns and operates telecommunications towers in African markets, said its H1 2021 revenue increased by 4% year on year to $212.4m (£155m), driven in part by the addition of 1,264 tenancies through the acquisition of Free Senegal’s infrastructure assets.
However, operating profit decreased by $2.4m to $26.9m as a result of an increase in deal costs, depreciation and loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment.
The firm narrowed its pretax loss to $43.6m, compared with a $83m loss last year. It had reported a $18.7m loss in the first half of 2019, before the pandemic.
Shares were down almost 8% on Thursday morning in London.
“We are delighted to have commenced operations in the attractive Senegal market,” said CEO Kash Pandya, adding: "We will be applying our tried and tested framework across each of the announced acquisitions, which we expect to close over the coming nine months.”
The company also announced that Pandya will retire as CEO after its annual general meeting in April 2022. He will move into a new role as non-executive deputy chair of the company.
Chief operating officer Tom Greenwood has been promoted to CEO-designate and will formally take up the role after the AGM.
So far in 2021 the company's tower sites have increased by 1,511 year on year to 8,603 thanks to the acquisition of 1,207 sites from Free Senegal and 304 site additions within Helios Towers’ established markets.
These include the company's entry into the Middle East region through the acquisition of 2,890 sites from Oman Telecommunications for a $575m consideration, due to close in the second half.
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