Liberty Global FY revenues increase 20%; Western Europe spearheads growth

25 Feb 2011

International cable company Liberty Global Inc (LGI) has reported revenues of USD9.02 billion for the twelve months ended 31 December 2010. This figure represents an increase of 20% on the USD7.50 billion recorded during 2009. Operating income increased from USD982.4 million to USD1.50 billion during the period under review, a rise of 52%, whilst operating cash flow (OCF) increased 23% to USD4.11 billion. According to LGI, the increased revenues were driven by a strong performance in the firm’s Western European operations, with Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands all contributing healthy year-over-year growth.

Liberty Global’s Belgian unit Telenet generated the largest portion of revenues, with sales of USD1.73 billion, up 7.2% from the USD1.67 billion reported a year earlier. UPC, the group’s broadband division, (comprising companies in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and other countries across both Western and Eastern Europe) generated consolidated revenues of USD5.31 billion, up 3.9% from the USD4.12 billion reported one year earlier. UPC’s German unit, which was acquired in January 2010, booked sales of USD1.15 billion during its first year as part of LGI’s portfolio. UPC recorded 6.4 million broadband customers as of 31 December 2010, a rise of 38%, chiefly thanks to the acquisition of operations in Germany. During 2010 voice telephony subscribers increased 31% to 4.6 million. In terms of multi-play bundles, single-play customers increased 36.6% to 11.26 million, whilst double-play subscriber figures rose 9.3% to 2.64 million. Triple-play bundle users saw the largest percentage increase, growing 38.2% to 3.74 million.

LGI president and CEO Mike Fries commented: ‘We met or exceeded all of our 2010 guidance targets with accelerating revenue growth, operating cash flow (OCF) margin expansion and substantial free cash flow growth. Our next generation broadband and digital TV products are widely available and in strong demand, and we feel good about the company’s growth prospects in 2011. We added 2.4 million digital TV, voice and broadband Revenue Generating Units (RGUs) in 2010, which was our best performance ever. Our fourth quarter was particularly strong, with a 34% increase in subscriber growth compared to the prior year period, and it was a record fourth quarter for both broadband and HD/DVR additions. On the M&A front, 2010 was a transformative year for LGI as we exited our Japanese operation and entered the German market. As a result, over 80% of our business is now squarely focused in Europe. We also announced a number of other smaller acquisitions such as Aster in Poland, which strengthens our leading position in one of Europe’s fastest growing cable markets. Looking ahead, we remain well capitalised to pursue additional consolidation opportunities in our core European markets’.

United States, Liberty Global