Liberty Global gained over 150,000 Horizon and 80,000 TiVo customers in the second quarter, taking the total number receiving its next-generation TV offer to almost 4 million.
On the other hand, its video subscriber figure was impacted negatively by the Dutch operation, which lost 45,000 more customers than in the same period last year.
Western Europe represents over 90% of the group’s revenues and Belgium and Germany performed particularly well in Q2, each posted 6% rebased growth. In the UK, Virgin Media posted 4% rebased growth, helping the combined UK/Ireland segment to come in with a figure of 3%. However, there was a 2% revenue decline and Liberty expects the rest of the year to be challenging in the country, especially in revenue terms.
Even so, the performance of Ziggo is expected to improve after the 87,000 RGU loss it experienced in the second quarter.
In Central and Eastern Europe, Liberty’s DTH operation in Romania (Focus Sat) lost 4,400 subscribers in Q2, while those in Hungary (+1,700), Czech Republic (+2,400) and Slovakia (+600) gained customers.
Commenting on the results, CEO Mike Fries said: “Subscriber additions and OCF growth each accelerated in Q2, with most of our markets delivering improved sequential performance as compared to Q1. Strong demand for our triple- and quad-play bundles continues to support our results despite difficulties in the Netherlands, which continued to face competitive and integration challenges. We have taken measures to improve our results in that market and our H2 OCF growth should benefit from the positive impact of Ziggo synergies. Despite the headwinds in the Netherlands, we are confirming all of our 2015 guidance.
“Rebased revenue growth of 3% for the Liberty Global Group in Q2 was underpinned by strong top line performances in the U.K., Germany and Belgium. Operating leverage and strong cost controls drove 4% rebased OCF growth in Europe, despite the challenges in Holland. We expect OCF growth in Europe to continue ramping in the second half of the year based on our expectation for significantly improved net add numbers, accelerating rebased revenue growth from our residential and B2B services and our continued focus on controlling costs.”