Losses mount, subs grow for Liberty Global

By Chris Dziadul | February 24, 2009 | 07:29 UK

Liberty Global has posted a net loss of $752.6 million (€586.7 million) for Q4 2008, as opposed to one of $197.2 million in the corresponding period in 2007.

Its full year loss in 2008 amounted to $788.9 million, compared to $422.6 million in 2007. The sharp increases were primarily put down to changes in foreign currency rates and non-operating items.

UPC Broadband Division saw reduced revenues in both Western and Central and Eastern Europe in Q4 2008 compared to a year earlier: down from $741.7 million to $711.6 million and $320.3 million to $296.9 million respectively.

Operating cash flow, on the other hand rose in Western Europe ($358.6 million in Q4 2007/$393.8 million in Q4 2008) but fell in CEE ($160.2 million in Q4 2007/$152.6 million in Q4 2008.

The transition from analogue to digital cable continued apace in all UPC’s markets in Europe in the last quarter, with the most new digital subscribers being recorded in Belgium (+154,900), Czech Republic (+62,500), Poland (+37,800) and Austria (37,400).

In the DTH sector in CEE, only UPC’s Focus Sat in Romania (+17,600) posted significant subscriber growth in Q4 2008.

The sharpest growth in internet and telephony subscribers in Q4 2008 was seen in Poland (+30,300) and The Netherlands (21,800) respectively.