Liberty Global: Horizon launch ‘exceeds expectations’
In reporting Q3 numbers for what its President and CEO Mike Fries described as the cable MSO’s strongest quarter of the year in terms of rebased revenue and OCF performance, Liberty Global International (LGI) revealed that the introduction of its Horizon product family in the Netherlands had attracted 50,000 subscriptions and had over 125,000 unique online users since its September 7th launch.
Fries said the MSO’s top-line rebased growth of 6 per cent reflected its best quarterly performance in two years, fuelled by a record number of broadband Internet and telephony subscriber additions over the last twelve months. “As expected, we delivered improved OCF in Q3 with five per cent rebased growth on a consolidated basis and we should be able to maintain this momentum in the fourth quarter. As a result, we are confirming all of our 2012 targets today,” he stated.
Highlights for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 include:
• YTD organic RGU2 additions of 1.1 million, including 320,000 in Q3
• Revenue of $2.52 billion, representing rebased growth of 6 per cent
• Operating Cash Flow (“OCF”)4 of $1.22 billion, reflecting rebased growth of 5 per cent
• Operating income increased 5 per cent to $509 million
• YTD Adjusted Free Cash Flow (“Adjusted FCF”)5 increased 4 per cent to $440 million
• YTD 2012 stock repurchases totalled approximately $620 million
Looking ahead, Fries confirmed that LGI expects to launch Horizon TV in Switzerland later this quarter, followed by Ireland and Germany next year, and also reiterated its intention to continue with the tender offer for the minority shares of Telenet, expecting to launch the offer officially shortly. “We have the requisite capital to not only fund the Telenet tender offer, but also complete our $1 billion stock buyback target for 2012. At September 30, we had approximately $380 million of equity to repurchase before year end, and we intend to remain active buyers of our stock during Q4,” he advised.