Irish cableco UPC Ireland, the parent company of ntl Ireland and Chorus, says its broadband subscriber base climbed 121% in 2006, from 25,000 to 55,300 by the end of the year. The operator also added 18,800 TV customers during the year to end December with 595,200 customers. In addition it had 400 voice telephony subscribers, up from 300 last year, but said that the number of homes that were now able to receive its telephony services had increased from 24,200 to 91,800.
UPC Ireland’s owner Liberty Global Inc (LGI) recently reported a loss in the fourth quarter of 2006 on the back of an increase in operating costs and expenses. Revenues were up 39% to USD1.79 billion, but operating expenses grew by 44% to USD1.74 billion, resulting in a net loss of USD31.2 million, compared to a profit of USD145.3 million in the year-ago period. LGI is the largest cable operator in Europe and in Japan, and it also has operations in Latin America and Australia. It ended the year with 19.4 million ‘revenue generating units’ or RGUs, an increase of 1.63 million over twelve months; this figure counts each service taken, so one customer can be counted as three RGUs if they subscribe to TV, telephony and internet services. UPC in Europe counted 12.6 million RGUs at year-end, while J:Com in Japan had 4.3 million.