Ian Georgeson

CityFibre hits £100m revenue milestone in 2023

Trading update shows UK’s largest independent fibre network reaps benefit from adding one million ready-for-service (RFS) homes in 2023, taking total RFS premises to over 3.2 million

Having announced in mid-2022 that it was to make an aggressive push into the UK’s broadband industry, boosting considerably the capability of its growing network by upgrading to 10Gbps XGS-PON technology, the UK’s largest independent full-fibre platform, CityFibre, has revealed it delivered £100m in revenue in 2023.

The network firm regards the sum as representing a significant milestone, and the continued network expansion saw CityFibre deliver more than one million ready-for-service (RFS) premises to its partners during 2023.

CityFibre’s network has now passed 3.5 million premises, of which over 3.2 million are RFS, firmly establishing it as the UK’s largest independent fibre network.

The business added that its network expansion was delivered at target cost, which has remained flat in nominal terms over the past four years, as build partner, portfolio optimisation and performance improvements, alongside scale, has offset input cost inflation and an operating backdrop that CityFibre described as volatile.

CityFibre also noted that during 2023, performance of its 41 consumer internet service provider (ISP) partners continued to improve, driving take-up on the network. It claimed over 165,000 new customer connections were added in 2023, representing what it called a “transformational” increase of 98% versus those delivered in 2022 and bringing the company’s live customer connections to over 337,000. 

The firm said it’s also consistently gaining a 40-50% share of the homes switching broadband provider within its total footprint. Highlighting the town of Milton Keynes, the company’s most mature market where the build programme was completed in 2022, CityFibre said more than 30% of the homes have already chosen to move over to its network. The first areas served in the city have now achieved approximately 40% take-up, and penetration continues to grow month-on-month.

The business has also become an integral delivery partner to government for rural connectivity, securing four new contracts with a total value of £387m under its Project Gigabit programme. These will subsidise the roll-out of gigabit-capable infrastructure to 262,000 rural properties across the country that would otherwise be excluded from commercial roll-outs.

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Going forward, CityFibre is confident that it continues to benefit from its established, multi-vertical model across consumer, business, public sector and mobile sectors, and that the business will deliver EBITDA breakeven in the first half of 2024.

In 2022, CityFibre completed a £3.9bn financing. It has a further £550m of available equity, and is adamant this investment put it on a firm financial footing to deliver its eight million premises target. In 2024, CityFibre expects to deliver a further one million RFS premises to its partners through continued build and pursuing a pipeline of M&A opportunities.

“In spite of a challenging operating environment, CityFibre continues to go from strength to strength,” said CityFibre chief executive officer Greg Mesch. “During 2023, we generated over £100m in revenues, delivered our target of one million ready-for-service premises, and doubled take-up across our footprint. We look forward to building on this firm foundation and exploring opportunities to transform our expansion ambitions in 2024 and beyond.” 

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