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Cityfibre – H1 Turnover Hits £9m as FTTP Serves 4,235 UK Customer Premises

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 (8:08 am) - Score 1,116

Cityfibre has published their latest results for the six months to 30th June 2017 (H1), which reveals that they now have 4,235 connected customer premises on their UK “full fibreFTTP network (up from 3,962 in H2 2016) and a total of 3,556 route kilometres of operational ducted fibre (up from 3,383km).

The company has certainly had a busy few months, not least because they’ve recently raised another £201.8 million and intend to invest most of that into building an ultrafast 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network for homes in up to 10 large towns and cities from 2018 (here). ISPreview.co.uk understands that the first phase of this roll-out will focus on at least 5 of their existing cities, with the ambition of expanding to 10 cities, and potentially passing 1 million premises.

In the meantime Cityfibre already has a Gigabit capable “full fibre” (FTTP) network in parts of 42 cities and large towns across the United Kingdom (many were purchased from KCOM), which is expected to reach 50 by 2020, although these are mostly focused upon catering for specific businesses and public sector sites (except in York and Bournemouth). Today’s results are thus very reflective of that.

Cityfibre’s H1 2017 Financial Highlights
· Turnover up 36% to £9.0m (H1 2016: £6.6m);
· Gross margin improved to 88% (H1 2016: 86%);
· Adjusted EBITDA* up 302% to £1.7m (H1 2016: £0.4m);
· New contracts with initial contract value (‘ICV’) of £11.0m added, taking total cumulative ICV to £135.9m, and unrealised ICV to £103.1m;
· Period end cash and cash equivalents of £7.9m, with net debt of £57.4m.

* Adjusted EBITDA is earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, also excluding share-based payments and significant non-recurring expenses.

Interestingly it’s also noted that the operator’s 1Gbps FTTH roll-out in York has now passed 13,582 homes (896 additional customer premises were connected during H1 2017), with a total penetration of 28% (several early cabinets are over 40%). However this figure is unchanged from what TalkTalk (Joint Venture partner) reported earlier this year (here) and suggests that the build for their planned expansion to 40,000 premises has yet to start (here).

Separately the operator states that ownership of their existing metro duct infrastructure is “expected to accelerate our FTTH/P (“Fibre To The Home” residential consumer and “Fibre To The Premises” enterprise products) roll-out per city by up to 18 months and reduce the cost per home passed by up to 25%“.

Cityfibre also claim that the fault rates on their FTTP network are dramatically lower than the copper-based networks of rivals (“perhaps as much as 1/20th the fault rate“), although this isn’t much of a surprise and it might be more interesting to compare the fault rates between rival “full fibre” networks.

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said:

“Our focus since the IPO has been on consolidating our position across the UK’s second tier cities by anchoring new city builds and acquiring existing duct and fibre infrastructure. Having materially completed the acquisition of significantly all major duct infrastructure available across the UK’s cities outside London, CityFibre is now the largest alternative owner of critical fibre and duct infrastructure across 42 UK towns and cities.

I am pleased we have now completed a truly transformational financing and accelerative acquisition. We can now begin the next phase of delivering Gigabit Britain – driving deeper into all of our cities and preparing them for full fibre roll-outs over a period of time.”

However the company also admits that their progress so far has been “marginally slower than we had anticipated“, although they don’t appear to be too concerned about this and said they were also “making good progress on our active layer network enablement.”

Meanwhile we’re still waiting for the operator to decide which of their UK cities will be the first to benefit from the planned FTTH roll-out, not to mention over what time-scale. In keeping with that Cityfibre say they remain in “advanced stages of discussions with major service providers” and thus no announcement has been made today about which ISPs will partner with them.

Otherwise there’s not a lot to report beyond the key financial and progress highlights, although the update does confirm that Entanet (recent acquisition) is home to a total of c.1,500 channel partners, 45,000 broadband customer circuits and 3,500 leased line circuits.

Side Note: Cityfibre states that the enablement of a city for active services requires the procurement or securing of a site for a PoP (Points of Presence), the deployment of associated PoP electronics and the construction of a fibre connection from the PoP to their metro network. This can take up to and sometimes over a year. For several of the assets acquired from KCOM last year they additionally need to refurbish the duct and fibre network infrastructure mainly through the blow-through of incremental fibre in the core ring. Cityfibre has focused their attention on enabling the larger cities acquired from KCOM in 2016, leaving the smaller cities for enablement through 2017 and 2018.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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