German cableco Unitymedia has announced its results for the full year and quarter ended 31 December 2008. The company’s total revenue increased 13% from EUR759.6 million in 2007 to EUR856.6 million a year later, which it attributed to the increased revenues from new services amounting to EUR166.5 million, up 55% from EUR107.2 million the year before, as well as price increases in basic cable subscription fees. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, appreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 19% to EUR394.9 million in 2008, up from EUR332.8 million.
Unitymedia reported its new services subscriptions, which include internet, telephony and digital television, rose 66% year-on-year to 1.6 million at the end of 2008. The company’s largest growth was seen in the broadband sector, where the number of subscribers increased by 111,000, or 103%, in the fourth quarter to 630,000. Unitymedia’s digital television customers increased by 37,000 during the fourth quarter to 363,000, driven by the digitalisation of the basic cable subscriber base, and the introduction of ‘enhanced pay-TV packages.’ Telephony subscriptions also grew by 55,000 to 363,000 in the same time period: however, as expected, the cableco’s basic cable subscriber base fell by 36,000 in the fourth quarter to 4.62 million, due to an increase in prices.
Parm Sandhu, CEO of Unitymedia, commented ‘The high customer value of our Unity3play services has allowed us to continue to upsell to our large basic cable subscriber base and again deliver a strong set of financial results. Significant increases in our internet, telephony and digital TV RGUs were achieved consistently, quarter on quarter, in 2008 also reflecting the increasing strength of our consumer brand. Our operating performance has allowed us to use excess liquidity to repurchase EUR251 million of our own debt to further enhance our capital structure and improve profitability.’
The company remains positive for 2009 expecting the cable segment to generate EBITDA of between EUR410 and EUR420 million in the year and capital expenditures of approximately EUR240 to EUR250 million.