10.30 Update: Sales of high speed internet continued to drive revenue for Unitymedia in the second quarter.
Cable revenues at the German cablenet increased by 11% to €231 million on the back of a year-on-year increase in its retail broadband internet product of 76%, taking the number of subscribers to 496,000. The wholesale product performed even better, an 85% increase taking numbers to 307,000.
Consolidated revenues for the quarter were €318 million, leading to an €117 million adjusted EBITDA, and a net loss of €1 million including the DTH satellite operation Arenasat.
“The strategy we’ve been communicating to the market is being pursued consistently. Unity3Play offers unparalleled consumer value in what is a difficult consumer market,” CEO Palm Sandhu told Broadband TV News. He said triple play RGUs had grown 44% to 1.8 million and Unitymedia was taking over 50% of broadband growth within its footprint of North Rhine Westphalia.
Digital television services did not perform as well, price increases and the end of Unitymedia’s retailing of the Bundesliga contributed to a fall of 9% over the year to 469,000. Digital basic cable increased 23% to 1,266,000; the cablenet also has 3,289,000 to its basic cable service.
“If you take out the Bundesliga effect because we no longer have the rights to retail this ourselves we grew our pay-TV subscribers by 17,000, and that’s a very credible performance, and shows that it is not just broadband.”
Although the movement of the Bundesliga directly into the Sky packages does not compensate in terms of revenue, Sandhu explained it would have no material effect on EBITDA.
Bundesliga churn was also blamed for a fall in subscribers to the Arenasat satellite package from 184,000 in March to 105,000 at the end of June. Further losses are expected as bundled packages expire later in the year, but changes in the cost structure mean that the Astra-delivered package can keep breakeven below 100,000 subscribers.
Sandhu confirmed his interest in the 500,000 Orion Cable subscribers that fell within North Rhine Westphalia and Hessen when “the time and the price was right”.