Vodafone’s Vantage Towers subsidiary grows portfolio to 82,000 sites ahead of expected £2.6bn listing
- Vantage announced a partnership with the IoT services firm Sigfox Germany
- Vodafone’s revenues dipped by 4.7% to just below £10bn in the third quarter
- Vantage said it expects to hit its full-year earnings target of £454m to £463m
Vodafone’s infrastructure business Vantage Towers has revealed that the number of its sites it operates grew to 82,000 at the end of last year.
The Dusseldorf-based group said it added another 450 macro sites over the first nine months of the current financial year and has a ‘leading’ position in nine of the ten European markets where it has a presence.
It believes it is on course to reach its target of building around 550 sites and hit its current adjusted earnings target of £454million to £463million for the financial year ending in late March.
Vantage Towers said it added another 450 macro sites over the nine-month period and has a ‘leading’ position in nine of the ten European markets where it has a presence
Vantage, which Vodafone is due to spin off and list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange soon for an estimated €3billion (£2.6billion), also expects to achieve its full-year free cash flow guidance for €375million to €385million.
The company stated it had gained 1,400 new tenancies and signed new agreements with Dublin-based broadband firm Eir and internet service provider Three in Ireland, and the Spanish telecoms industry body AOTEC.
It has announced a further partnership today with the German division of Sigfox, an Internet of Things (IoT) services firm, to help it expand its 0G wireless network.
Vantage described Sigfox’s 0G technology as a ‘key driver of the digitisation of the European economy’ whose customers include the multinational courier giant Deutsche Post DHL.
Under the decade-long agreement, Sigfox will build more than 350 sites in Germany by the end of the 2022 financial year and over 500 by the start of 2024.
Jan John, the chief technology officer of Sigfox Germany’s owner Heliot Europe, said the deal with Vantage ‘will help us to deliver reliable network service much faster to our major customers – and improve our performance, scalability, and reliability.’
Vodafone is suffering under a massive debt pile of over £40billion, and hopes the public listing of Vantage Towers will enable it to pay part of those liabilities down
Vantage’s trading update comes just under a fortnight after Vodafone revealed that a drop in people travelling abroad caused its revenues to fall despite increases in data usage and broadband upgrades among its customers.
Total revenues dipped by 4.7 per cent to just below £10billion in the third quarter, though a solid performance in Germany helped its organic service revenues to rise by 0.4 per cent.
Vodafone asserted that it was ‘firmly on track’ to decouple its Vantage business and will include the 50 per cent share of its UK towers joint venture with Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica in the IPO.
The world’s second-largest mobile operator is suffering under a massive debt pile of over £40billion, and hopes the public listing of Vantage Towers will enable it to pay part of that down.
Vivek Badrinath, chief executive of Vantage, said: ‘The growth opportunity in Europe is considerable, as the rollout of 5G accelerates and mobile operators look to expand their networks to manage ever-increasing data traffic.
‘I am very pleased with the commercial momentum we are building at Vantage Towers. Customers are appreciating the high quality of our grid and their response to our focused commercial approach is encouraging.
‘Adding Cornerstone, the UK’s number one tower company, to our portfolio in early January was a significant step.’
Shares in Vodafone were up 0.6 per cent during the late morning to 134.7p.