Helios Towers aims to seal deals in Oman, Gabon

Helios Towers attributed its strong H1 results to more tower tenants and recent acquisitions in Senegal, Madagascar and Malawi, while also expressing confidence in closing deals in Oman and Gabon in H2.

Speaking to Developing Telecoms, CEO Tom Greenwood said: “Our strategy right now is to consolidate all of the new markets that we’ve entered. That includes Oman and Gabon but it also includes Malawi, Madagascar, and Senegal, which we’ve entered very recently as well.

“Ongoing integration behind the scenes have been going very well so we’re really keen on focusing on organic growth this year. This means we’re building more sites, and gaining more tenants in our existing market, we’re focused on driving the best out of the assets that we have,” said Greenwood.

The company currently has towers in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Madagascar and Malawi.

Helios is currently going through challenging regulatory hurdles to acquiring Airtel Africa towers in Gabon, a deal that hinges on gaining a passive infrastructure licence. The company anticipates capex of US$650m in 2022 for deals in Malawi, Senegal and Madagascar, the latter two through “deferred acquisition payments”.

On potentially expanding from its current base of market, Greenwood said there are opportunities in North and West Africa, that the company is currently mulling.  

“There’s a number of markets around North Africa, which is looking more interesting and potential opportunities may be popping up, there’s a few around West Africa that is similar. There are a few in East Africa as well, but we’re not focusing hugely on them right now,” said Greenwood.

The company has around 14,000 towers in its portfolio with the aim to reach 22,000 by 2026 which will be done through acquisitions and new tower constructions.

H1 results

The company reported growth in its latest financial results which were due to the integration of acquisitions in Senegal, Madagascar and Malawi, as well as gains in new tenants.

Revenue for H1 grew 25% year-on-year from US$212.4 million to US$265.4 million, while adjusted EBITDA increased from US$114.2 million to US$136.1 million in the same period.

Tower tenancies grew 20% from 17,090 to 20,549, while operating profit surged 48% from US$26.9 million to US$39.8 million.

The targeted capex for this year is between US$810 million to US$850 million.