German regional cable operator Kabel BW has reported record revenue and earnings growth in the year ended 31 December 2010, driven by increasing subscriber numbers. The company reported that revenue for the twelve-month period rose 13.8% year-on-year to EUR546.8 million (USD759 million), compared to EUR480.7 million in 2009. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached EUR316 million in 2010, an increase of 21.4% from EUR315.7 million the previous year, while earnings before tax leapt 90% year-on-year to EUR93 million. Kabel BW said fourth quarter sales grew 15.7% year-on-year to EUR145.7 million, while EBITDA in the three months ended 31 December 2010 totalled EUR84.2 million, up from EUR70.8 million in the year-ago quarter. At the end of 2010 the cableco recorded a total of 664,000 telephony and broadband customers (up 26.5% year-on-year), while pay-TV RGUs jumped 46.2% over the previous year to 285,000. Harald Roesch, chairman of the board of Kabel BW, said that the company is benefiting from the high level of investment in recent years, including the introduction of its 100Mbps broadband service in May 2010.
Meanwhile, US cable company Liberty Global, CVC Capital Partners and Hellman & Friedman are the only three bidders left in the auction for Kabel BW, Dow Jones Newswires reports, citing people familiar with the matter. EQT has been the sole shareholder in Heidelberg-based Kabel BW since it bought the cableco from US investment group Blackstone in April 2006 for around EUR1.3 billion. The private equity firm hired JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank in November 2010 to advise on a possible initial public offering (IPO) or sale of the cableco. IPO preparations are still ongoing and EQT will decide in mid-March whether to float the company, one of the sources said.