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Tele Columbus hails ‘solid start’ to year despite TV decline

German cable operator Tele Columbus has posted what it describes as “a solid start” to 2021, with year-on-year growth in its customer base of 8,000, despite a decline in its cable TV base of 14,000.

Despite what Tele Columbus described as the “challenging trends” facing the cable TV business, it did manage to increase its premium TV base by 3,000, which it attributed to its marketing drive.

The operator, which trades under the PŸUR brand, counted 3.3 million connected homes at the end of the quarter. It had 2.216 million customers at the end of Q1, down 10,000 on the previous quarter.

Tele Columbus had 2.123 million cable TV customers, 544,000 premium TV customers, 610,000 internet customers, up 8,000 and 444.000 phone customers, up 5,000.

Core revenues for the quarter were up by 3% to €118.9 million, with the increase driven by increased business-to-business sales as well as internet and telephony, revenue for which were up 4% year-on-year to €37.3 million. Revenues for the TV business were down 3% to €55.4 million, due to what Tele Columbus called “a structurally challenging environment”.

Adjusted EBITDA was up by 6% to €60.3 million once charges related to its acquisition by Kublai were removed. Tele Columbus turned in a net loss of €16.6 million compared with a loss of €5.7 million last year, again due to charges related to the change of ownership.

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners’ investment vehicle Kublai GmbH completed its takeover of Tele Columbus in April following the EC granting regulatory approval.

Daniel Ritz, CEO of Tele Columbus said: “Our results for the first quarter stand for a solid start to the year in operational business and we were able to successfully complete the transaction with Kublai and the rights issue of €475 million.”