UK-based cable group Liberty Global has reported total revenues of USD1.92 billion for the three months to end-December 2021, down from USD3.31 billion in the same period of 2020. The decline was primarily due to the merger of its Virgin Media division with O2 UK in June 2021, which created a non-consolidated 50/50 joint venture, Virgin Media O2 (VMO2). As such, on a rebased basis, Liberty claims that revenue was up by 1.9% year-on-year. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was down by 46.8% y-o-y (a decrease of 4.4% on a rebased basis) to USD689.9 million whilst Adjusted Free Cash Flow stood at USD434 million compared to USD503.7 million in Q4 2020.
Across its continuing operations in Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland and Slovakia, the group counted a total of 9.39 million fixed RGUs and 4.13 million customer relationships as well as 5.69 million mobile subscriptions. Meanwhile, its Polish division – which Liberty has agreed to sell to French group Iliad – accounted for a further 3.45 million fixed RGUs across 1.57 million customer relationships plus 121,300 mobile lines. Its non-consolidated joint ventures in the UK (VMO2) and the Netherlands (VodafoneZiggo) accounted for a combined total of 22.51 million fixed RGUs (9.51 million customer relationships) and 37.64 million mobile subscriptions.
Discussing the results, CEO Mike Fries was quoted as saying: ‘Our fourth quarter and full year results demonstrated continued commercial momentum across our FMC (fixed-mobile convergence) champions. Operationally, we delivered 306,000 aggregate broadband and post-paid mobile subscribers during Q4 and over 1.0 million for FY21 with our converged bundles leveraging our market-leading broadband speeds and increasing 5G coverage. As we look at the overall market in Europe, we see more tailwinds than headwinds, including huge demand for connectivity, improved pricing power, competition rationalising and an improved regulatory environment.’