Subscriber expansion continues to fuel Liberty growth; group to spin off LatAm units

10 Nov 2014

UK-based multi-service cable group Liberty Global has booked solid annual revenue and subscriber growth for the three months to end-September 2014, whilst improvements in the group’s derivative instruments more than offset increases in foreign currency losses, reversing net earnings for the quarter from losses of USD830 million to a net profit of USD157 million. Revenue for the group was USD4.497 billion for the period, up from USD4.277 billion twelve months earlier, leading to a 35.0% increase in operating income to USD703.7 million. Quarter-on-quarter, Liberty claimed net additions of 28,100 new subscribers and 343,700 revenue generating units (RGUs). Meanwhile, gains on derivative instruments grew to USD527.9 million from losses of USD875.4 million in Q3 2013, offsetting forex losses of USD375.8 million, which fell from gains of USD258.0 million.

In related news, Liberty Global has unveiled plans to spin off its Latin American investments into a new subsidiary, Liberty Latin America and Caribbean Group (LiLAC). The new unit will include wholly-owned Chilean full service provider VTR and 60%-owned division Liberty Cablevision Puerto Rico (trading as Liberty Puerto Rico). The legal processes for the creation of LiLAC are expected to take around five months. CEO Mike Fries commented on the plans: ‘This will highlight the value of our well-positioned operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. This structure will enable us to retain the advantages of doing business as a single company, including the benefits of being able to leverage the expertise of our broader management team, our technology development programme and our overall economies of scale. At the same time, we will be creating pure-play European and Latin American equities that we believe will be attractive to investors.’

United Kingdom, Liberty Global (incl. LGI), Liberty Puerto Rico, VTR