Liberty Global Q2: “Well positioned”
July 29, 2022
Converged broadband, video and mobile communications services company Liberty Global has announced its Q2 2022 financial results.
CEO Mike Fries stated, “Despite an increasingly difficult macroeconomic environment developing throughout the second quarter, demand for connectivity remains high and we are well positioned to execute on our strategic and financial goals. In each of our core operating markets, we remain focused on product innovation and offering the best value for our customers, especially as they manage through the effects of increased living costs. At the same time, we are proactively addressing the impacts on our costs while supporting our network investments across fixed and mobile.
In Q2, we delivered aggregate broadband and postpaid mobile net add growth underpinned mostly by positive postpaid mobile trends and a return to broadband growth in the UK Financially, with price adjustments beginning to support top-line trends, we reported stable revenue across our FMC markets. Synergies supported Adjusted EBITDA trends in Switzerland and the UK, where the continued growth of VMO2 was the highlight of the quarter. Looking ahead to H2, the realisation of synergies is expected to continue driving cash flow growth in the UK, while recent price adjustments in the Netherlands and Belgium should support improved financial results in both markets.
Our continued focus on innovation is driving unique FMC product and bundling strategies that not only differentiate us from the competition, but also generate higher NPS, lower churn, and support ARPUs. In Switzerland, our new Sunrise UP converged bundles offer market-leading benefits such as multiple mobile sims with best-in-class speeds, underpinned by gigabit coverage for over 90 per cent of Swiss households and the highest customer service and loyalty program in the country. In the UK, we recently launched a new IP TV product called Stream that brings together linear, VOD and streaming services into one place and gives customers the flexibility to manage their monthly spend by easily adding and removing content. Initial customer reaction to both initiatives has been very encouraging with full marketing campaigns already underway at VMO2 and Sunrise.
We continue making progress with our network development strategies. Nearly 100 per cent of our networks already offer gigabit speeds to customers today, and by utilising a combination of the best upgrade technologies available, we will be able to offer up to 10 gig broadband speeds in all our markets. In Belgium, Telenet recently entered into an attractive agreement with Fluvius to create the data network of the future in Flanders. Both companies will combine their fixed network assets and create a new, independent and self-funding infrastructure company called NetCo’, which will invest in the gradual evolution of its current HFC network to FTTH targeting 78 per cent of the footprint by 2038.
We are reiterating all of our original, full-year guidance metrics, including $1.7 billion of Full Company Distributable Cash Flow. This will be supported through significant adjusted free cash flow creation at Vodafone Ziggo and VMO2 and arranged financings. Liberty Global’s balance sheet remains strong with ~$4 billion of cash and ~$6 billion of total liquidity. As of today, we have substantially completed our annual buyback commitment of 10 per cent of our shares outstanding. Given our strong cash flow generation and the compelling value in our stock at current prices, we are announcing today an increase to our 2022 buyback programme of $400 million, bringing the total for the year to ~$1.7 billion.”