Telenet passes triple-play and mobile milestones, announces board change

TelenetLiberty Global-backed Belgian cable operator Telenet’s triple-play base now accounts for half of its overall customer base, while its post-paid mobile base passed the one million mark in the fourth quarter, ahead of its acquisition of KPN-owned mobile operator BASE Company.

Separately, Liberty Global CTO Balan Nair has stepped down from the Telenet board and will be replaced by Dana Strong, Liberty Global’s chief transformation officer and former COO of Virgin Media and CEO of UPC Ireland.

Telenet chairman Bert de Graeve thanked Nair for “his extremely valuable contributions and commitment to making Telenet one of the best performing and innovative cable companies in the world” and welcomed Strong, who he said had “extensive international experience concerning transformation processes, combined with in-depth strategic and operational knowledge”.

Telenet’s triple-play customers were up 6% for the full year at 1.094 million, driven buy take up of the company’s Whop and Whoppa bundles and various promotional initiatives.

Post-paid mobile customers rose by 12% to pass one million, with 24,000 net additions in the fourth quarter. Telenet’s mobile customers will be moved to BASE Company when Telenet’s acquisition of the latter completes later this month. Telenet expects to spend €240 million on BASE over the next few years, offset by synergies of about €150 million.

Telenet’s enhanced video base rose 2% year-on-year to 1.714 million whiule its basic video base declined by 16% to 340,600. Its broadband base rose by 3% to 1.57 million, while its fixed telephony base rose by 5% to 1.222 million.

Telenet posted full rear revenues of €1.8 billion, up 6%, and adjusted EBITDA of €944 million, up 5%.

CEO John Porter said that Telenet had “laid further foundations for profitable growth in 2016 and beyond”, highlighting its ongoing €500 million network upgrade programme which will increase its network capacity from 600MHz to 1GHz, enabling it to offer internet speeds of 1Gbps.

Porter said that acquisition of BASE Company would “improve the economics of our mobile business, enabling us to more effectively compete for mobile growth in the future”.