UPC’s debt restructuring near completion

15 Aug 2003

Pan-European cable TV company UPC has announced that its ongoing debt-restructuring should be completed by the end of September, after revealing a 78% jump in EBITDA to EUR120 million for the second quarter. The group attributed the rise to a 64% increase in income from its Triple Play product. Net income after currency gains stood at EUR75 million, down from EUR577 million at the same time in 2002. UPC’s content provider UPC Media saw revenues rise to EUR22 million, but its business solutions arm Priority Telecom witnessed a decline in revenues to EUR28 million, compared to EUR31 million a year earlier. The group also said it generated EUR8 million of free cash and paid off EUR177 million of its EUR10.4 billion debt in the three month period. UPC has been struggling with its debt for more than a year, but now says it hopes to have completed a refinancing scheme to cut it by around two thirds. It has also revealed that it plans to change its name to UGC Europe following the restructuring and is reorganising its operations into two main divisions: UPC Broadband, which will be provide services to its residential video, telephone and internet customers, and Chello Media which will combine the activities of UPC Media and Priority Telecom.