Rodney M. Smith
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at American Tower
Thanks, Tom, and thanks, everyone, for joining our call today. I hope you and your families are well. As you just heard from Tom, American Tower had another year of solid performance, which included strong Q4 results throughout our global business. Before we dive into the details of our expectations for 2022, I'll briefly review our Q4 and full year 2021 results. To start, I'd like to highlight a few key accomplishments from the past year. First, 2021 marked another year of strong overachievement against our initial AFFO per share targets. For the full year, we posted consolidated and attributable AFFO per share growth of 13.7% and 11.7%, respectively. This is a demonstration of our ability to deliver solid total revenue growth, tightly manage operating costs and execute on strategically important M&A transactions, all while maintaining a thoughtful and disciplined approach to our capital structure. I'll also note, this is a great start towards achieving our previously stated objective of delivering, on average, double-digit AFFO per share growth between 2021 and 2027.
Second, we delivered our third consecutive year of record new builds. As we've discussed previously, these newly constructed sites continue to be amongst our best uses of capital. And in 2021, we saw average day one NOI yield of nearly 12% over the nearly 6,400 sites we constructed. Finally, during 2021, we completed two strategic M&A transactions and, as a result, strengthened our position in the United States and Europe, two critically important markets for us. With that, let's dive into the details of our Q4 and full year 2021 results. Turning to slide eight. In the fourth quarter, our consolidated property revenues grew by more than 13% year-over-year or over 14% on an FX-neutral basis. In our U.S. and Canada segment, property revenue grew 1.2%. This included an organic tenant billings growth decline of 0.5% or an increase of over 4% when excluding the impacts of Sprint churn. As a reminder, over half of the total Sprint churn commenced in 2021, primarily on October 1, as expected. International property revenues grew over 28%, with nearly 20% driven by contributions from our Telxius assets. International organic tenant billings growth was 5.7%, led by Latin America at 7.4%, followed by Africa at 7.3% and Europe at 6.6%.
APAC grew for the second consecutive quarter, coming in at 1.3%. This was complemented by the addition of nearly 1,900 high-yielding, newly constructed sites across our international markets. Moving to adjusted EBITDA. Growth was over 10% in the quarter, while the impacts of Sprint churn, combined with the addition of newer, lower-tenancy assets, drove a decline in adjusted EBITDA margin to 62%. Finally, consolidated AFFO per share grew 3.8% in the quarter or 4.3%, excluding the negative impacts of foreign currency fluctuations. This included nearly $140 million of year-on-year cash-adjusted EBITDA growth, which was partially offset by the higher net cash interest expense, along with higher cash taxes and maintenance costs. As anticipated, the timing of these expenses was heavily back-end weighted in 2021, resulting in a material impact to the year-over-year growth rates in Q4. Meanwhile, AFFO per share attributable to American Tower common stockholders grew by 1.4% in the quarter. Turning to slide nine. Full year consolidated property revenue growth was 14.5%, including organic tenant billings growth of 3.8% and total tenant billings growth of 11.3%. U.S. and Canada property revenue growth was nearly 9%, with organic tenant billings growth of 2.9%.
This included contributions from co-locations and amendments of 3.2%; another 3% in growth from escalators; around 0.2% in negative impacts from other run rate items; and churn of 3%, which consisted of around 1.8% in normal cost churn and the balance driven by Sprint. This was complemented by new asset contributions to tenant billings of 4.1% and approximately $144 million in higher straight-line revenues as compared to 2020. Our international property revenue grew by over 21% with organic tenant billings growth of 5.5% for the year. Overall colocation and amendment growth was 5.9%, while 3.8% came from escalators and 0.3% from other run rate items, all of which was partially offset by 4.5% of churn. This elevated churn was primarily concentrated in India, where more recently, we have started to see the churn rate moderate. Finally, with our recent expanded data center portfolio, we have introduced a new data center segment within total property, consisting of the newly acquired CoreSite and DataSite assets along with our existing Colo ATL facility. This segment contributed approximately $23 million to our total property revenue in 2021. Turning to slide 10.
Adjusted EBITDA grew 16% for the year to nearly $6 billion. This included strong flow-through of organic tenant billings growth; $100 million in incremental services gross margin versus 2020; over $140 million in net straight-line growth, as well as around $300 million in contributions to growth from newly acquired assets, primarily in the U.S. and Europe. On a consolidated basis, adjusted EBITDA margins were down around 20 basis points as compared to 2020, primarily due to the impacts of Sprint churn in the U.S. and the addition of newer lower tenancy international assets, which we believe are well positioned to drive meaningful margin expansion over time. We also grew consolidated AFFO by 15.4% and consolidated AFFO per share by 13.7% in 2021, with over $680 million in cash adjusted EBITDA growth from the drivers I just mentioned. This growth was partially offset by higher financing costs associated with our recent strategic M&A as well as a modest increase in maintenance capex and higher cash tax expense as compared to 2020. Finally, AFFO attributable to AMT common stockholders per share grew 11.7% year-over-year. With that, let's turn to our outlook for 2022.
I'll start by highlighting a few key assumptions underlying our projections. First, we expect a strong year of new leasing activity across our operations, with anticipated gross new business contributions to total tenant billings growth nearly 7% higher than what we saw in 2021. This expectation is being driven by a few key items. In the U.S., the comprehensive MLAs we've signed over the last few years are continuing to result in solid levels of new business activity. In Europe, we expect an exceptionally strong year, boosted by our larger presence following the Telxius transaction. And across our developing market footprint, the demand for site continues to rise as next-generation network deployments advance. Second, we expect churn to be higher than historical levels in 2022. In the United States, this will be driven by Sprint churn we've discussed previously, with about $160 million in year-over-year impacts in 2022 versus 2021. Additionally, in select international markets, a handful of carrier consolidation events are temporarily driving churn higher. Third, we've layered in some preliminary assumptions related to our CoreSite financing.
And finally, our initial outlook reflects estimated negative translational FX impacts of approximately $125 million for property revenue, $70 million for adjusted EBITDA and $55 million for consolidated AFFO versus 2021. Moving into the details on slide 11, you can see we expect total property revenues of over $10.3 billion at the midpoint, representing growth of 13% or nearly 15% on a currency-neutral basis. This includes expected property revenue growth of less than 1% in the U.S. and Canada and over 14% of FX-neutral growth in our international regions. We also expect data centers to contribute roughly $705 million of growth in cash revenue to the Property segment in 2022. Turning to slide 12 and unpacking the property revenue growth assumptions a bit, you'll see our expected organic tenant billings growth rates for 2022. I'd like to note here that our tenant billings metrics do not include contributions from the data centers segment. Looking at the United States and Canada, we anticipate growth of approximately 1%, in line with the 2022 expectations implied in the long-term projections we presented last year. This includes contributions to growth from colocations and amendments of roughly $150 million, representing solid double-digit growth versus 2021.
We expect this to be partially offset by churn of over 5%, which includes a 3.7% impact associated with Sprint. Turning to Latin America. We expect organic tenant billings growth of greater than 6% for the year, supported by solid gross colocation and amendment activity as well as additional growth from our CPI-based escalators, which we anticipate to be around 300 basis points higher than in 2021. These items are being partially offset by higher churn in 2022, primarily related to Telefonica in Mexico as well as the continuation of Nextel churn in Brazil. With both events, we expect to receive settlement payments over the course of 2022, compensating us for the early termination of leases ahead of their expiration, where applicable. As is typical, these payments will fall outside of the organic tenant billings growth metrics. Moving to Africa. Organic tenant billings growth is expected to be in the 6% range. We continue to see strong demand for our macro tower assets driving colocation and amendment growth of around 6.5% for the year. In addition, we expect escalators to be up as compared to 2021 by roughly 90 basis points. This will be partially offset by an expectation for elevated churn as carrier consolidation and some smaller market exit events from Q4 of 2021 work their way through our 2022 financial metrics.
Meanwhile, in Europe, we're seeing the benefits of added scale from the Telxius acquisition, the early stages of 5G rollouts and low churn, all driving expected organic tenant billings growth of approximately 9% in 2022. This includes roughly 6% in contributions from colocations and amendments and escalators of around 4.5%. These higher escalators are being driven by the combination of higher CPI and the mechanics of having the Telxius assets in our numbers for the full year of 2022. Churn is expected to decline to around 1.5% as we benefit from the lower-churn Telxius assets and reduced cancellations across our legacy business as carrier consolidation events wind down. Finally, in Asia Pacific, we're guiding to 2% to 3% organic tenant billings growth in 2022, including churn of around 5%, representing less than half of the 2021 churn rate. At the same time, our outlook does imply a reduction to gross colocation and amendment growth contributions relative to 2021 levels as carriers in the marketplace continue to digest recent developments. With that said, we are encouraged by the market reforms aimed at improving the overall health of the telecom sector as well as more recent steps taken by the carriers to rationalize pricing and improve overall profitability in the marketplace.
We think these steps could bode well for the long-term growth picture in India. Turning to slide 13. At the midpoint of our outlook, we're projecting adjusted EBITDA of over $6.5 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 10% or nearly 11% on a constant currency basis. We continue to drive solid organic growth conversion rates and are complementing this through growth on assets acquired in 2021, including approximately $360 million in expected adjusted EBITDA from CoreSite in 2022. We are seeing some margin compression in 2022. This is primarily the result of Sprint churn in the U.S., along with the full year impact of the slightly lower-margin CoreSite and Telxius assets. That said, the benefits of our continued focus on operational efficiency are taking hold in our regional legacy businesses, particularly in Africa, where our commitment to sustainable energy solutions and strong cost controls are driving meaningful expansions in margins. Turning to slide 14, we expect consolidated AFFO to grow by more than $380 million to over $4.7 billion, despite absorbing approximately $160 million in negative impacts to AFFO from Sprint churn. This includes $675 million in FX-neutral cash-adjusted EBITDA growth and the expectation for maintenance capex to be more or less flat as compared to 2021 as capital intensity remains in the 2% range.
We expect this to be partially offset by approximately $55 million in higher cash taxes and $185 million in incremental cash interest expense, primarily associated with our preliminary CoreSite financing assumption as well as roughly $55 million in expected negative translational FX impacts. Additionally, we've layered in a common stock issuance assumption for the purposes of outlook in the first half of 2022, again, tied to the CoreSite transaction. Taking these assumptions into account, we expect our consolidated AFFO per share for the year to be $10.05, reflecting growth of 4%, or roughly 8%, excluding the impacts of Sprint churn. Finally, AFFO attributable to AMT common stockholders is expected to grow approximately 3% year-over-year to $9.70 per share in 2022. This includes an assumption of approximately $165 million in minority interest impacts related to our partnerships in Europe. Moving on to slide 15, let's review our capital deployment in 2021 and expectations for 2022. In 2021, we declared nearly $2.4 billion of common dividend distributions, representing a year-over-year growth rate of 15%.
We spent another $1.4 billion through our capex programs, over $500 million of which was dedicated to our development projects, including the construction of nearly 6,400 new sites across the globe. Finally, we deployed over $20 billion, including the assumption of debt to acquire the Telxius and CoreSite assets as well as a handful of smaller transactions around the world. We expect these new assets to drive meaningful accretion and shareholder value over time. Looking to 2022, our dividend remains a top priority. And subject to board approval, we expect to distribute approximately $2.8 billion to our shareholders, as we continue to increase the dividend in line with our stated long-term, double-digit growth targets. We also expect to deploy roughly $2.1 billion in capital expenditures, over 90% of which will be discretionary. Of our total discretionary capital spending, we expect approximately $270 million to be directed towards attractive organic development opportunities in our data center segment. On the tower side, we expect to deploy roughly $565 million in development capex, primarily for the construction of 6,500 sites in our International segment. Similar to 2021, we anticipate driving average day one NOI yields on these new builds of nearly 12%.
As you can see on the chart to the right, these international new site investments have driven exceptional returns over time. In our earliest vintage, we're seeing average NOI yields of 46%. Sites built between 2010 and 2014 are yielding around 26%. And on the more than 26,000 sites we've constructed since the start of 2015, we're seeing yields in the 20% range, with room to expand as we continue to drive lease-up on these lower-tenured sites. Looking forward, we believe our international new-build program presents a significant opportunity to continue adding meaningful portfolio scale while achieving highly attractive returns. And we'll continue to prioritize site development opportunities as a key part of our capital allocation strategy over the long term. Turning now to slide 16, we've laid out our current thoughts around the permanent financing strategy for our CoreSite acquisition. As always, the primary objective is for us to finance this transaction in a way that optimizes our capital structure within our investment-grade framework, minimizes dilution to our common stockholders and positions us to continue to opportunistically deploy capital in ways that maximize value creation for our shareholders over the long term.
At a high level, we expect to get there through a combination of debt and equity issuances. The debt markets remain attractive. And as we have done in the past, we expect to be opportunistic as we seek to term out revolver and term loan borrowings into longer-term fixed rate instruments. On the equity side, we anticipate evaluating a number of alternatives, including common equity, mandatory convertible preferreds and private capital partnerships, much like we did for the Telxius acquisition in 2021. With that said, for the purposes of our initial 2022 outlook, we have assumed that roughly half of the $10 billion purchase price will be financed through a common equity issuance assumed to occur in the first half of 2022. As you can see on the slide, we anticipate that this will bring our leverage back down to the high five times range while putting us on track to get back to five times or below over the slightly longer term. Importantly, we remain committed to our investment-grade rating and have been working closely with the rating agencies throughout this process. As we continue to evaluate a number of potential options, particularly on the equity side, we will plan to keep you all updated as to our progress.
In the meantime, we believe that the baseline case we have incorporated in our current outlook positions us well as we create long-term shareholder value with the CoreSite assets. Turning now to slide 17, and in summary, we drove strong results in 2021, including compelling double-digit AFFO per share growth, record new build activity prudent, balance sheet management and the completion of several transactions that we believe will enhance American Tower's leading global position. As we look across our global footprint, we're encouraged by what we see as a long tailwind of secular technology trends that are expected to drive continued strong recurring demand for our critical communication infrastructure assets. In the U.S. and Europe, we're well positioned to support a continued acceleration in 5G activity as carriers deploy new spectrum assets and build out greenfield networks. Meanwhile, in our early-stage markets, we expect to benefit as operators look to upgrade and densify their mobile networks to meet ever-increasing mobile data demand, all of which we believe will translate into meaningful growth and attractive total shareholder returns at American Tower for many years to come. And with that, operator, we can open up the lines for questions.