The continued operating and financial momentum at Virgin Media helped fuel international TV and broadband company Liberty Global’s Q3 results, according to CEO Mike Fries. The quarter saw record Q3 RGU additions at Virgin Media, driven by 104,000 net adds in the UK.
“This achievement was supported by strong volume growth in both our Project Lightning and legacy footprints,” said Fries. “From a product perspective, we continue to reap the benefits of our next-generation V6 set-top box and Hub 3 WiFi router deployments, as we saw meaningful year-over-year improvement in churn. We also announced a 4.5 per cent average UK customer price rise, which should underpin our results in the coming quarters. In our other markets, we reported mixed results as Telenet delivered 8.4 per cent rebased OCF growth in the quarter, driven by synergy realisation, while we posted a 9 per cent rebased OCF contraction in Switzerland.”
“The Swiss market remains challenging but we have a number of initiatives that we believe will improve performance. Our turnaround plan is underpinned by revamped video products, a refreshed MySports programming line-up, the launch of 1 Gig broadband speeds and a new and improved MVNO offering. The cornerstone of our enhanced video offering is the introduction of Horizon 4, our cutting-edge, next-generation TV entertainment platform, which will revolutionise the video experience for our customers. Switzerland is the first market where we’ve launched this innovation and we look forward to expanding the platform across more markets in the coming years.”
“Our previously announced deal to sell our German and certain CEE operations to Vodafone remains on track. Last month, Vodafone officially filed the submission paperwork with the European Union and we still expect that the deal will close in mid-2019,” advised Fries.
During Q3, LG added 28,000 RGUs, a decline compared to the 57,000 RGUs added in the prior-year period, as an improved performance at Virgin Media was largely offset by weakness in Belgium and Switzerland. From a product perspective, data and video adds showed a year-over-year decrease, while telephony net adds increased year-over-year.
Record Q3 RGU additions of 105,000 in the UK and Ireland were 14 per cent higher than the prior year, with contributions both from new build areas and existing footprint. A shift in sales and marketing focus to high value triple-play bundles has successfully driven growth in telephony, broadband and video product subscriptions.