Mobile tower operator IHS Holding's losses widen in third quarter

The company's overall tower count globally stands at 30,500

Sam Darwish, chairman and CEO of IHS Holding, rings the opening bell to celebrate his company’s IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City.  REUTERS
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Africa's mobile tower operator IHS Holding continued to widen its losses in the third quarter of this year, driven by the aggregate impact of a positive one-off revenue catch-up in 2020.

The company, one of the largest independent owners, operators and developers of telecoms infrastructure worldwide, reported a loss of $30.4 million for the three-month period ending September 30, compared with a loss of $20m for the same period last year.

Increases in the cost of sales and administrative expenses resulting from incremental costs, its transition to a publicly listed company as well as higher power generation costs also added to its losses, IHS Holding said.

An increase in the impairment of property, plant, equipment, and prepaid land rent stemming from a $37.8m year-on-year increase in the Nigeria segment also contributed to the loss.

Revenue for the period rose 8.7 per cent to $400.5m in the third quarter. The company said its revenue for the third quarter of 2020 was positively affected by a one-time revenue catch-up of $13.1m due to retrospective currency-related amendments to MTN Nigeria Communications.

"Today, we are the fourth-largest independent multinational tower company and the only such company focused solely on emerging markets, where our critical infrastructure helps connect underserved communities to bridge the digital divide," chief executive Sam Darwish said.

Founded in Lagos in 2001, IHS Holding sold 18 million shares in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in October, raising $378m.

Mr Darwish said the company's overall tower count globally reached 30,500, with the addition of 3,000 towers following acquisitions in Latin America earlier in 2021.

"In Nigeria, we are rolling out fibre connectivity, as well as our rural telephony offering, which is connecting some of the most remote communities," he said.

The company's adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation, reflecting the one-time revenue catch-up, fell 4.2 per cent to reach $219m in the third quarter.

Capital expenditure in the third quarter rose 33.8 per cent to $81.6m, driven by growth in the Nigeria segment.

Updated: November 22, 2021, 6:11 AM