Liberty Global reached the milestone figure of one million subscribers to Horizon TV this week in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and Poland.
In the company’s latest set of results, it says that the 914,000 figure posted at the end of 2014 was double the total a year earlier, with record take-up being seen in Germany. At the same time, the company gained 583,000 TiVo subscribers in the UK in 2014, ending the year with 2.5 million.
Although Liberty gained 918,000 RGUs in Western Europe and 232,000 in CEE in 2014, its Dutch operation lost 26,000 due to strong competition.
Looking at CEE, Liberty gained DTH subscribers in all four markets it operates a service in Q4, with the highest number being in Romania (19,000).
Liberty’s revenues in 2014 amounted to $18,248.4 million, up from $14,474.2 million a year earlier. It had a net loss of $696 million attributable to shareholders, compared to $963.9 million in 2013. This was in part due to the $333 million gain on the sale of Chellomedia last January.
Commenting on the results, CEO Mike Fries said, “2014 was a milestone year for us on many fronts. We increased the pace of innovation in broadband, video, and wireless, delivered steady organic subscriber growth, continued driving operational efficiencies and achieved all of our financial targets. The capstone of the year was the acquisition of Ziggo, which represents a unique opportunity for us to create national scale and become the leading challenger in the mobile and enterprise businesses in Holland, while opening up great opportunities for Dutch consumers and businesses. In terms of financial performance, we reported record revenue in excess of $18 billion and delivered on all of our 2014 guidance targets including an 18% increase in our Adjusted Free Cash Flow excluding Ziggo.”
Looking forward to this year, he added that, “in 2015, we will continue to make strategic investments todifferentiate our products and continue driving demand for our next-generation platform, Horizon TV, which crossed the one million subscriber milestone this week, along with increasing usage of our Horizon Go app and our MyPrime video-streaming service. We are also preparing for trials of DOCSIS 3.1 technology in the second half of this year, which we expect will meaningfully and cost effectively extend our speed leadership to 1GB when we begin commercial deployments and up to 10GB in the future. With our superior broadband network, the expansion of WiFi to 10 million locations by the end of 2015 and our new mobile launches across Europe, we are well positioned to offer consumers the best connectivity experience available in our markets”.
From a financial perspective, Fries said, “looking ahead to 2015, we expect to deliver mid-single digit rebased OCF growth, along with $2.5
billion of Adjusted Free Cash Flow, which would represent combined mid-teens growth on an FX adjusted basis. Our expectations are based on continued robust subscriber growth, improving pricing power, our rapidly growing mobile and B2B businesses and executing on the substantial synergy opportunities that we have already underway with our operational integrations taking place in the Netherlands and the UK.”