Tower Corp. cheers new business in SA

American Tower Corporation has pointed to “a solid quarter of signed new business activity”  in its international operations, particularly in South Africa where the group saw a year-over-year increase of over 200%.

In 2010, ATC formed its South Africa unit, providing wireless and broadcast towers.

In November 2010, ATC and Cell C announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of up to 1,400 of Cell C’s existing towers, and up to 1,800 additional towers that are either under construction or will be constructed over the next two to three years.

In March 2011, the company completed the purchase of 959 existing communications sites through its local South African subsidiary, for an aggregate purchase price of $149.1 million.

In July 2011, ATC completed the purchase of an additional 329 existing communications sites from Cell C for approximately $51.5 million.

Earlier this week, US-based ATC said that quarterly revenue increased 15.2% to $802.7 million, while operating income increased 9.2% to $299.7 million.

During the quarter ATC said that its international rental and management segment reported revenue increased 33% to $262 million.

International core revenue growth was over 40% and international core organic growth was nearly 15%, “which continued to be driven primarily by strong new lease commencement activity from tenants such as Telefónica, Nextel International and America Móvil in Latin America, Vodafone and MTN in South Africa as well as Bharti and IDEA cellular in India,” the group said in a conference call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

“Consistent with the last few quarters, about 90% of our signed new business internationally was in the form of new leases rather than amendments as carriers augmented their networks and added new sites,” Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s CEO said.

The group said it did not expect core organic growth in its international segments. “We remain at the 15% level going into next quarter.”

During the quarter, ATC said it constructed about 400 sites and acquired nearly 900 more.

“We’ve added over 9,100 communication sites to our international portfolio since the beginning of the first quarter of 2012 contributing 27% to our international core growth and driving our international revenue to about 34% of our total consolidated rental and management revenues, Taiclet said.

In South Africa, ATC had 1,604 towers as of December 2012, up from 1,601 in September 2012 and up from 1,365 during the same period in the prior year.

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Tower Corp. cheers new business in SA