(Corrects paragraph two to read Europe's largest mobile phone
towers operator, not largest mobile phone operator.)
BARCELONA, July 20 (Reuters) - Spain's Cellnex on
Monday raised its 2020 guidance after completing several
investments and reported an increase in first-half core
earnings, but said it expected net losses in the coming
Europe's largest mobile phone towers operator, Cellnex has
bought tens of thousands of phone towers across Europe, controls
more than 40,000 sites and is present in eight countries. It is
seen as a central player in any consolidation of the European
telecoms infrastructure market.
On Monday, it increased its adjusted earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) 2020
outlook to 1.16 billion-1.18 billion euros ($1.33 billion-$1.35
billion) versus a previous estimate of 1.065 billion-1.085
First-half core earnings jumped 64% to 527 million euros,
while operating income climbed 48% to 723 million euros,
although Cellnex slipped to a 43 million euro net loss in the
same period, mainly because of higher amortisations and
financial costs related to its investments.
"This is in line with the current strong growth that the
company continues to experience and for this reason the group
expects to continue to show a negative accounting result in the
coming quarters," the Barcelona-based company said in a
Cellnex had already swung to a net loss of 30 million euros
following acquisitions in the first quarter.
Spun off from Spanish infrastructure operator Abertis in
2015, Cellnex has expanded to reach a market capitalisation of
nearly 22 billion euros and become the sixth largest company on
the IBEX 35 blue-chip index.
In 2019, it invested almost 4 billion euros of the 7.7
billion euros it had said it planned to spend over an
unspecified period, while in the first half of 2020 it committed
to investments of around 2.5 billion euros.
The company finalised earlier this year its first two
acquisitions in Portugal and in July it closed its purchase of
the telecoms division of Britain's Arqiva.
Cellnex's net debt in the first half of the year was 4.67
billion euros compared to 3.94 billion euros at the end of last
year. It said it has available funds of approximately 4 billion
($1 = 0.8739 euros)
(Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Nathan Allen, Edmund Blair
and Barbara Lewis)