Ziggo says Liberty talks “progressing,” announces solid Q4 results

Ziggo logoDutch cable operator Ziggo said discussions about a takeover by Liberty Global were “on-going and progressing” as it announced solid Q4 and full year 2013 results, spurred by internet and mobile gains.

In its earnings announcement, Ziggo said that discussion with Liberty had continued since December, and “have progressed.” However, it cautioned “there is no certainty that any agreement will be reached.”

“In view of on-going discussions with Liberty Global on a potential acquisition of our company, we cannot propose a final dividend for the financial year 2013 at this moment. We will announce a statement regarding any final dividend before the AGM,” Ziggo said, hinting that the matter will be concluded ahead of its planned April 17 general meeting.

Ziggo last commented on its Liberty talks in December, when it confirmed it was back in discussions with the firm after rejecting a preliminary takeover offer that deemed “inadequate” a month earlier.

The latest comments come on the back of Ziggo’s Q4 results, which saw revenue climb 2.8% year-on-year to €394.0 million and adjusted EBITDA increase 2.1% to €222.8 million. Full year revenue and adjusted EBITDA were up 1.8% and 0.7% respectively.

Among its operational highlights for full year 2013, Ziggo said that total internet subscribers were up 6.8% compared to 2012, and that it has seen a strong increase in WiFi coverage since April, with over 1.1 million WiFiSpots activated.

Ziggo added that following its mid-September launch of Ziggo Mobile, this service is on track with 33,000 subscribers as of December 31 – “slightly ahead of plan.”

However, in the TV space, the firm fared less well. For the full year, Ziggo said that the number of subscribers to digital Pay TV was down by 64,000 “partly due to the difficult macro-environment and the switch from subscription based to on-demand based video consumption.”