Liberty Global has reported a second-quarter loss on higher expenses from its acquisition of Virgin Media. The net loss for the period was $12 million, compared with net income of $702 million a year earlier. Revenue for the period rose 25 per cent to $3.16 billion.
Liberty Global, which bought provider Virgin Media for $16 billion earlier this year, said the deal increased costs for depreciation, amortisation, share-based compensation and restructuring. The company, which added 149,000 Internet subscribers in the quarter, has been amassing European cable operators, taking advantage of low interest rates and central bank efforts to boost the economy.
“Virgin Media significantly enhances both the scale of our business and our levered equity growth strategy,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Fries said.
Liberty Global operates in 14 countries, including Germany, the Netherlands and Chile. The company, which offers Internet, TV and phone services separately or as a bundled package, had 24.5 million customers at the end of the second quarter.
In a separate statement, Virgin Media said its second-quarter revenue was little changed at £1.03 billion. The company had 4.9 million customers and average monthly revenue per user rose about three per cent to £48.80 after a price increase in February. It added another 155,000 TiVo boxes in the second quarter, bringing the total to 1.7 million. TiVo now represents 44 per cent of Virgin’s TV base, up from the 25 per cent at Q2 2012.
Virgin Media said growth in its cable business was partly countered by a six per cent revenue drop in its mobile-phone unit.
Virgin TV Anywhere now has 75 live channels available on PCs and 53 on iOS devices. Broadband now has 2.8 million on speeds of 30 Mbps and above, an increase of 1.7 million in the last 12 months. Over 40% of new broadband subscribers take 60 Mbps or higher.