Fries: Horizon launch early next year

07.45 Europe/London, November 3, 2011 By Robert Briel

“We’re on track to launch our Horizon platform in the Netherlands early next year,” according to Mike Fries, president and CEO, Liberty Global, “and believe it has the potential to differentiate our digital video services much in the way that DOCSIS 3.0 improved our competitive advantage for broadband within our markets.

“Our Horizon platform, with a simple and intuitive 3D-rendered interface and a powerful search and recommendation engine, will provide an elegant media and entertainment platform, seamlessly integrating cable, web-based and personal content. Our consumers will be able to easily navigate, share and view content on multiple screens and devices wirelessly throughout the home.”
Fries made the statement on the occasion of the presentation of Liberty Global’s Q3 figures for 2011. “Building scale in Europe is a key strategic goal for us, and we recently completed the acquisition of Poland’s fourth largest cable operator. Additionally, we expect the regulatory decisions on the sale of Austar in Australia and the acquisition of KBW in Germany to be finalised by November 30 and December 15 of this year, respectively.”
At September 30, 2011, Liberty Global provided a total of 29.3 million services, consisting of 16.9 million video, 7.2 million broadband internet and 5.2 million telephony RGUs, to its 17.9 million unique customers. During the third quarter, the operator increased its RGU base by 947,000 subscriptions, which resulted from the inclusion of 619,000 RGUs from acquisitions, including Aster in Poland.
In a statement, the company concluded “We attribute this momentum in subscriber growth to the success of our compelling triple-play offers, which provide the foundation for our fall selling season. We ended the third quarter with 39% of our customers subscribing to bundled services, with 24% of our customers taking a full triple-play package. Including acquisitions, our triple-play customer base has grown by 691,000 customers or 19% in just the last twelve months.”
Fries: ““Our third quarter results highlight the increasing traction of our triple-play offers which were instrumental in delivering our best Q3 subscriber growth in history. Given the current environment, we continue to be impressed with our European operations, which produced approximately 90% of our Q3 net additions. With the fastest broadband speeds available and a stronger pricevalue relationship than our DSL-based competition, we are clearly gaining share in key markets.”
The highlights for the quarter compared to the same period for 2010 include: Revenue of $2.61 billion (€1.90 billion), representing rebased3 growth of 4% (YTD growth of 4%); Operating cash flow (“OCF”)4 of $1.23 billion, reflecting rebased growth of 2% (YTD growth of 5%); Operating income increased 17% to $522 million and adjusted free cash flow of $61 million, up 36%.