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LGI sees strong Horizon sales in Switzerland; Ireland and Germany next

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries

Liberty Global has sold 20,000 Horizon subscriptions in Switzerland since the advanced set-top launched in that market, with 10,000 unique Horizon TV online users. Liberty Global has sold 100,000 Horizon subscriptions in the Netherlands since its launch in September, with 200,000 unique Horizon online users. Liberty Global plans to roll out a non-DVR version of the box in the Netherlands in the coming months

Speaking on a conference call on the company’s full-year results, Liberty Global International president and CEO Mike Fries said the operator is on track to roll out Horizon in Ireland and Germany. “I can’t emphasis how pleased we are with the impact of Horizon,” said Fries. He said the service had “changed forever the digital video experience for our customers.”

Fries said Germany remained the company’s strongest growth driver, adding that the company also strong RGU growth from central and eastern Europe and Switzerland. He said the company had reduced its rate of video customer losses over the last year.

Following its announcement of the acquisition of Virgin Media, Fries said Liberty Global hoped to learn from the UK operator, especially in the area of mobile bundling. He said Liberty Global hoped to close the transaction in the second quarter. Fries said Liberty Global had “modest goals” for mobile over it other territories and would roll out services in a way that had “no impact on financial metrics”.

Fries said the regulatory environment in Germany meant it remained cautious about the prospects for further consolidation in that market, despite the “compelling logic” for consolidation. “We always remain optimistic that we will win that argument over time,” he said.

Fries believed business services would be one of the fastest growth areas for the company this year, with particularly strong prospects for growth in Germany.

Liberty Global earlier reported it had added 465,000 new revenue-generating units, or products sold to customers, in the fourth quarter of 2012, taking its total RGUs to almost 33 million. The company posted revenues of US$10.31 billion (€7.6 billion) for the year. Full-year operating income was up 9% to US$1.98 billion.