Virgin territory: new acquisition helps Liberty trim losses

14 Feb 2014

Liberty Global has booked net losses of USD121.2 million for the three months ended 31 December 2013, improving from losses of USD331.3 million twelve months earlier. The acquisition of Virgin Media in the UK led to a 70.5% increase in turnover year-on-year to USD4.47 billion, although operating expenses and depreciation/amortisation costs also rose by 55.1% and 101.5% annually as a result to USD775.7 million and USD1.35 billion, respectively. Operating income was up slightly y-o-y at USD517.6 million compared to USD513.5 million.

In terms of subscribers, Liberty claimed 4.079 million wireless subscribers and 48.268 million revenue generating units (RGUs), including 14.365 million fixed broadband RGUs and 21.788 million video RGUs. The trend for increasing use of bundled services has continued, with the group claiming 1.97 RGUs per customer relationship, compared to 1.76 a year earlier. Indeed, triple-play subscriptions represented 40.5% of Liberty’s user base at the end of 2013, compared to 30.2% at end-2012, whilst double-play customers grew to 16.0% from 15.5% over the same period. The greater uptake of higher-value plans has led to an upsurge in ARPU, which expanded by 27.0% annually to USD48.14.

United States, Liberty Global (incl. LGI), Virgin Media