Liberty Global Q1 revenues increase 12%; Unitymedia spearheads growth

5 May 2011

International cable company Liberty Global Inc (LGI) has reported revenues of USD2.43 billion for the three months ended 31 March 2011. This figure represents an increase of 12% on the USD2.18 billion recorded in the same period a year earlier. LGI reports that operating income increased from USD303.6 million to USD577.6 million during 1Q11. For the three months ended 31 March LGI reported CAPEX of USD510 million (or 21% of revenues), which compares to a figure of USD405 million (19% of revenues) during the corresponding period one year earlier. Meanwhile, the firm has reported net earnings of USD342 million for Q1, compared to USD737 million a year earlier. The year-on-year decline was primarily driven by the USD1.4 billion gain realised through the 1Q10 disposal of Japanese cableco J:COM. In terms of continuing operations, net earnings were USD424 million, compared to a loss of USD633 million one year earlier.

Liberty Global’s Belgian unit Telenet generated the largest portion of revenues, with sales of USD454.3 million, up 3.5% from the USD439.1 million reported a year earlier. UPC, the group’s broadband division, (comprising companies in Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and other countries across both Western and Eastern Europe) generated combined revenues of USD1.46 billion, up 14.4% from the USD1.27 billion reported one year earlier. LGI reported 17.58 million ‘customer relationships’ at end Q1, down 1.4% from 17.83 million one year earlier; broadband subscribers reached 6.6 million at the same date. In terms of multi-play bundles, single-play customers decreased 7.5% to 11.02 million, whilst double-play subscriber figures rose 4.7% to 2.66 million. Triple-play bundle users saw the largest percentage increase, growing 15.4% to 3.9 million.

Liberty Global President and CEO Mike Fries commented: ‘Our first quarter results demonstrate continued momentum in subscriber growth along with solid financial performance to begin the year. We added over 250,000 subscribers in Q1, led by our Western European operations and, in particular, Unitymedia in Germany, which delivered its fourth consecutive quarter of improved volume growth since we purchased the business. From a product perspective, we are seeing strong growth in our digital cable business with 289,000 subscriber additions during the quarter, and we are aggressively leveraging our investment in next-generation broadband services across a 3.0-ready footprint that now exceeds 20 million homes passed in Europe and Chile. Our ‘Fiber Power’ bundles offer compelling value and generally include the fastest broadband speeds available in our markets’.

United States, Liberty Global