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Liberty Global’s next generation TV base nears four million

Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries.

Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries.

Liberty Global converted more than 230,000 video customers to next-generation TV subscribers in the second quarter, with its combined Horizon and TiVo base now at nearly 4 million.

Announcing its Q2 results, Liberty said that it added some 150,000 subscribers to is European, next-generation Horizon TV platform, and 80,000 to its TiVo service, which it offers in the UK via its Virgin Media subsidiary.

“Subscriber additions and operating cash-flow growth each accelerated in Q2, with most of our markets delivering improved sequential performance as compared to Q1,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries.

However, he said that in the Netherlands Liberty continued to face “competitive and integration challenges” with Ziggo, the Dutch cable operator it bought last year, losing 87,000 subscription service customers in the quarter.

“We have taken additional measures to improve our Dutch operational performance, including a quality improvement program and the launch of a summer promotion in mid-July, centred around Horizon TV,” said Liberty in its earnings announcement.

Fries added: “Despite the headwinds in the Netherlands, we are confirming all of our 2015 guidance targets.”

Liberty said that its Q2 results were underpinned by “strong top line performances in the UK, Germany and Belgium” and at the end of the quarter provided 25.7 million unique customers with 52.9 million subscription services across 48.6 million passed homes in Europe.

It said Q2 organic additions consisted of 43,000 service subscribers in Western Europe and 52,000 in Central and Eastern Europe.

“From a product perspective, broadband internet remained the primary source of our organic subscriber growth in Europe with 110,000 RGU (revenue generating unit) additions, driven largely by our German and Swiss operations, with 56,000 and 16,000 adds, respectively,” said Liberty.

The firm also said that multi-screen video services have now also been launched in all its European markets under the brands Virgin TV Anywhere in the UK, Yelo TV in Belgium, and Horizon Go in all of its other European markets.

Overall, Liberty reported quarterly revenue of US$4.3 billion, down slightly from the same period last year, which it attributed to negative foreign currency movements related to a strengthening of the US dollar. Adjusted for acquisitions, dispositions and foreign currency, Liberty said that operations attributed to the Liberty Global Group had rebased revenue growth of 3% year-on-year.

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