In terms of business prospects, during 2023 the Group will continue to focus on implementing organic growth (leveraging its status as a neutral operator), in accordance with its ambition of achieving Investment Grade status by two credit rating agencies by the end of 2024, and by improving efficiency and profitability. In this way, the Group expects to increase various key indicators by double digits for the year ending 31 December 2023.
The Group estimates its revenues for the year ending 31 December 2023 to increase between EUR 4,100 million and EUR 4,300 million and its Adjusted EBITDA to increase to between EUR 2,950 million and EUR 3,050 million, as a result of: (i) organic growth (price escalators, new colocations and associated revenues with a targeted more than 5% new PoPs year-on-year and efficiencies), (ii) the contribution of the transactions completed during 2022; mainly the CK Hutchison Holdings Pending Transaction with regard to the United Kingdom concluded in the last quarter of 2022 and, (iii) required disposals (either completed, such as the UK divestment of some 1,100 sites, or to be carried out in 2022, such as part of the French disposals).
The Group expects its Recurring Leveraged Free Cash Flow (RLFCF) for the year ending 31 December 2023 to be in the range of EUR 1,525 million to EUR 1,625 million (with Net payment of lease liabilities expected to be around 850 million, Maintenance Capital Expenditures expected to be around 3% of Operating Income and Changes in current assets/current liabilities expected to be trending to neutral). Expansion Capital Expenditures is expected to represent approximately 10% of Operating Income and Free Cash Flow for the year ended 31 December 2023 is targeted to trend to neutral.
Additionally, the Group has previously issued long-term targets up to 2025 that are considered valid by the Group as of the date of this Integrated Annual Report (the “2025 Targets”), after factoring higher inflation positively impacting Operating Income to grow at around 3% due to the average escalator, Operating Expenses and Net payment of lease liabilities expected to grow more slowly than Operating Income as a result of efficiencies, and the net impact from disposals and new investments committed (please see slides 14 and 21 in the 2021 full year results presentation). The 2025 Targets are underpinned by highly visible financials and could trend to the upper end of the range if current high inflation levels are sustained.
The 2023 Profit Forecasts and the 2025 Targets are based on several assumptions. All of the assumptions relate to factors which are outside the full control of the Board of Directors. The 2023 Profit Forecasts have been compiled and prepared on a basis which is both comparable with the historical financial information and consistent with the Group’s accounting policies.
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