Grupo Corporativo ONO, the largest cable operator in Spain, has announced a 143.2% hike in EBITDA year-on-year for the first quarter of 2006, on the back of its acquisition of Auna Telecomunicaciones (Auna TLC). In the three months ended 31 March 2006 ONO posted EBITDA of EUR133 million (USD168 million) as revenues rose 193.8% to EUR422 million. Net loss for the period was EUR20 million, narrowing from EUR25 million twelve months earlier. The takeover of Auna TLC was evident in the 109% rise in net debt, which increased to EUR2.889 billion. ONO ended March with 1.46 million residential telephony customers, 888,000 residential broadband customers and a total of 115,000 corporate clients; the bulk of its users took services via the company’s cable network, with 97,000 customers taking unspecified services via unbundled local loops (ULLs).
In July 2005 ONO entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Auna TLC for approximately EUR2.25 billion. Auna TLC was established in 2000 to oversee the fixed line and cable interests of Auna Group, which was itself created from the merger of the Spanish telecoms, broadcasting and cable units of Telecom Italia, Endesa and Unión Fenosa. It is a cable network operator and fixed line provider of retail and wholesale triple-play voice, data and TV services. The deal was completed in November 2005 and ONO immediately began integrating Auna’s operations into its own. The acquisition near-doubled ONO’s telephony and broadband customer bases, and the consolidated company is now the country’s largest cable operator by far.