Eurobites: French connection helps Cellnex thrive in H1

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Q2 earnings slide at Proximus as energy costs bite; Sparkle connects in Genoa; Orange told to play nice with Tismi.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

July 28, 2023

2 Min Read
Eurobites: French connection helps Cellnex thrive in H1
(Source: Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo)

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Q2 earnings slide at Proximus as energy costs bite; Sparkle connects in Genoa; Orange told to play nice with Tismi.

  • Cellnex Telecom, the Spain-based towers company, saw its first-half adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) grow 16% year-over-year, to €1.49 billion (US$1.64 billion), on revenue that was up 17%, to a smidgen over €2 billion ($2.2 billion). During the period, Cellnex signed new agreements with SFR and Bouygues Telecom in France and acquired full control of OnTower Poland. Total investments in H1 amounted to approximately €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion), mainly for "build-to-suit" (BTS) tower programs in a number of countries and the OnTower Poland acquisition. (See Cellnex merger rumors add to ongoing tower chess game.)

  • Not quite such a rosy picture at Belgium's Proximus, which saw underlying EBITDA slip 3.7% year-over-year in the second quarter, to €446 million ($490 million), on revenue that was up 4%, to €1.49 billion ($1.64 billion). The usual suspects of increased energy and labor costs were cited as the reasons for the drop in earnings. Despite these increased costs, BICS, the international services arm of Proximus, managed to record a 2.8% increase in EBITDA, though revenue was down 1.1%, to €267 million ($294 million), partly as a result of currency fluctuations. Full-year guidance for Proximus was confirmed, with CEO Guillaume Boutin predicting that domestic revenue growth would be at the upper end of the given range of +1% to +3%, thanks largely to better than expected revenues from device sales and IT hardware over the first six months of the year.

  • Sparkle, the international unit of Telecom Italia (TIM) and quite possibly the name of the Barbie sequel, has reached an agreement with Ge-DIX (Genoa Data Internet Exchange) – a non-profit consortium of interconnection services – to establish an Internet exchange point at Sparkle's Genoa Digital Hub data center.

  • Arcep, the French communications regulator, has settled a dispute between Orange and Tismi, a mobile virtual network operator with operations in several EU countries. The dispute centers on Orange's unwillingness to offer an interconnection agreement for two-way SMS termination on Tismi's preferred terms. Arcep has effectively ruled in favor of Tismi, telling Orange that within five months it must submit an interconnection agreement to Tismi that includes an identical rate of billing for SMS between the two parties.

  • UK converged operator Virgin Media O2 has added a number of free, ad-supported TV (FAST) channels to its TV lineup after striking deals with +E Networks EMEA, All3Media International, Banijay Rights, Blue Ant Media, Extreme International, Fremantle, Little Dot Studios and Tastemade. Deal or No Deal USA and Homes Under the Hammer are just two of the delights on offer. The new channels will show up on Virgin TV's electronic programming guide.

— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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