China Tower Forging ahead "One Core and Two Wings" strategy to capture market opportunities
Profit attributable to owners of the Company increased 22.2%
| For the six months ended 30 June |
| 2022 || 2021 || Change |
| Operating revenue || 45,479 || 42,673 || +6.6% |
| EBITDA || 31,958 || 31,184 || +2.5% |
| Profit attributable to owners of the Company || 4,224 || 3,457 || +22.2% |
| Basic earnings per share (RMB yuan) || 0.0242 || 0.0198 || +22.2% |
| Key operating data || |
| Number of tower sites (thousand) || 2,049 || 2,035 || +0.7% |
| Number of tower tenants (thousand) || 3,521 || 3,423 || +2.9% |
| Tower tenancy ratio (tower tenants / tower sites) || 1.72 || 1.68 || +2.4% |
Our revenue maintained healthy growth while profitability continued to improve in the first half of 2022, with operating revenue reaching RMB45,479 million, up by 6.6% year-on-year. Our EBITDA1 amounted to RMB31,958 million, an increase of 2.5% over the same period last year, with an EBITDA margin2 of 70.3%. Profit attributable to owners of the Company totaled RMB4,224 million, up by 22.2% year-on-year, with a net profit margin of 9.3%.
Our cash flow remained strong. In the first half of 2022, net cash generated from operating activities amounted to RMB31,306 million, an increase of 29.2% year-on-year. Capital expenditures were RMB9,085 million, a reduction of 12.3 year-on-year. As a result, our free cash flow3 reached RMB22,221 million, up by 60.1% year-on-year. Our financial position remained stable and healthy, with the Company's total assets reaching RMB313,523 million as of 30 June 2022. Our interest-bearing liabilities stood at RMB92,428 million with a gearing ratio4 of 31.1%, 5.9 percentage points lower than the same period last year.
Dual growth engines of "5G + DAS" enabled stable growth in TSP business
Given the increasing coverage and penetration of 5G network in China, we maintained our focus on the latest market trends and evolving customer demands over the first half of the year and furthered resource coordination and sharing. As a result, we were able to build large-scale 5G networks in a cost- effective and highly efficient manner through offering innovative service and construction models. The Company undertook 318,000 5G base-station demand in the first half of 2022, with the cumulative number reaching 1.544 million as of 30 June 2022, of which 97% were fulfilled by sharing existing resources. Additionally, increasing DAS construction demand promoted even greater growth of DAS business. Given this, "5G + DAS" have emerged as dual growth engines, which secured stable growth of TSP business and cemented our leadership in the construction and operation of telecommunications infrastructure in China.
As of 30 June 2022, the Company was managing a total of 2.049 million tower sites, representing a net increase of 11,000 sites compared to the end of 2021. During the same period, we gained 42,000 new TSP tenants, bringing the total number to 3.302 million. Our TSP tenancy ratio also grew from 1.60 as at the end of 2021 to 1.62. With regard to our DAS business, we had covered buildings with a cumulative area of 5,970 million square meters, up by 35.4% from the same period last year, while the high-speed railway tunnels and subway coverage totaled a cumulative length of 18,276 kilometers, an increase of 26.6% over the same period last year.
In the first half of 2022, our TSP business revenue reached RMB41,345 million, up by 3.9% year-on- year, among which tower business revenue accounted for RMB38,592 million while DAS business represented RMB2,753 million, a year-on-year growth of 2.3% and 32.0% respectively.
Strengthening advantages in resources and capabilities, Two Wings business maintained the momentum of growth
The development of the digital economy and the national "dual carbon" goals have presented ample opportunities to our business. We leveraged our resources and strengths to scale up and explore new possibilities of sharing, enabling the advancement of digitalization and adoption of new energy applications in society. As a result, our Two Wings business continued to experience rapid growth. Over the first half of the year, Two Wings business recorded revenue of RMB4,010 million, a year-on- year increase of 46.5%, accounting for 8.8% of our overall operating revenue and contributing 45.4% of the incremental operating revenue.
Smart Tower business expanded industry applications and sharpened competitive edge. We seized new opportunities flowing from the rapid development of the digital economy and sped up the upgrading of "telecommunication tower" to "digital tower" by utilizing our existing site resources, localized operations and maintenance, and centralized digital platform. For Tower Monitoring service, we increased investment on research and development, launching differentiated products to meet customer needs while enhancing our digital services, with a focus on key sectors including environmental protection, forestry, agriculture and land. In the first half of 2022, Smart Tower business
Energy business focused on core segments and continued to scale up. We further strengthened our core business segments of battery exchange and power backup to enhance the economies of scale in Energy business as well as the quality of delicate management approach. We have deepened our penetration of the delivery and courier markets and consolidated our leadership in the battery exchange market for light electric vehicle. In addition, we offered four-in-one comprehensive solutions covering power backup, generation, monitoring and maintenance, to key industries including telecommunications, finance, healthcare and education. As of 30 June 2022, we had attained a cumulative 782,000 battery exchange users, an increase of 170,000 since the end of 2021. Energy business recorded revenue of RMB1,426 million in the first half of 2022, representing an increase of 61.3% year-on-year, among which, revenue from battery exchange business accounted for RMB802 million, or 56.2%.
Mr. Zhang Zhiyong, Chairman of China Tower said, "To capture growth opportunities in the second half of 2022, we will set a clear focus on realizing our goal of becoming a 'world-class integrated information and communications infrastructure service provider and a highly competitive information and new energy applications provider'. This positioning will drive the development of the Company centering around sharing, service, innovation, technology and value creation, and build upon an operating system that is professional, intensive, delicate, efficient and digitalized. We will strive to sustain stable revenue growth and generate higher value for our shareholders, customers and society as a whole."
Note 1: EBITDA is calculated by operating profit plus depreciation and amortization.
Note 2: EBITDA margin is calculated by dividing EBITDA by operating revenue, and multiplying the resulting value by 100%.
Note 3: Free cash flow is the net cash generated from operating activities minus the capital expenditures.
Note 4: Gearing ratio is calculated as net debt divided by the sum of total equity and net debt, then multiplied by 100%. Net debt is calculated as the amount of interest-bearing liabilities minus the amount of cash and cash equivalents.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
About China Tower
Since its incorporation on 15 July 2014, China Tower Corporation Limited ("China Tower") has developed into the world's largest telecommunications tower infrastructure service provider with compelling market advantage under the national strategy of Cyberpower. The Company implements the strategy of "One Core and Two Wings". "One core" refers to the traditional tower business and indoor Distributed Antenna System (DAS) business, which provide services to the TSPs based on site resources; while "Two Wings" refers to the Smart Tower business which mainly provides tower site resources and information services to different industries, as well as Energy business to satisfy the growing demands on innovative energy services in the society, such as battery exchange, power backup and charging. China Tower adheres to the "sharing" philosophy for business development. It promotes site co-location and provides a wide range of services to fulfill the specific needs of its customers. As of the end of June 2022, the Company's total assets amounted to RMB313,523 million. China Tower operated and managed 2.049 million tower sites across 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in the PRC, and served over 3.521 million tenants with the tenancy ratio of 1.72.