Telenet has put the brakes on the loss of basic cable subscribers, stabilising for the second consecutive quarter with a drop of just 14,800 in the period to September 30, 2010.
The Flemish cableco increased revenues year on year to €967 million, boosted by solid performances in fixed-line telephony, mobile and business-to-business, and delivering a net profit of €47.2 million.
Telenet continues to pull in new subscribers with ARPU increasing by €4 year on year to €38.4 over the nine-month period. Duco Sickinghe, Telenet’s Chief Executive Officer said the increase could be attributed to consumers consolidating their digital services with a single provider, leading to 57% subscribing to two or more products, compared to 50% just one year ago.
“I am delighted to see that the net loss trend stabilised for the second consecutive quarter despite the continued intensely competitive environment. Meanwhile, the conversion of our analogue subscriber base into digital remained on track with the number of digital TV subscribers having outgrown analogue for the first time,” said Sickinghe. Typically a digital subscriber will generate twice the amount of ARPU of their analogue counterparts.
The high penetration of Telenet’s cable footprint and increasing competition means that its analogue base can only continue before, but given the circumstances Telenet says it remains a solid performance.
As of the end of Q3 2010, a total of 1,168,800 subscribers had moved to a digital TV service, with 1,108,600 opting for the full-featured Telenet Digital TV and the remainder accessing through an INDI set-top box. By the end of September 51% of the customer base had been digitised, compared to 39% a year earlier and 49% at the end of Q2 2010. Telenet’s digital TV offering was first launched in 2005.
An additional 305,500 customers signed for either digital TV, broadband internet or fixed telephony in the first nine months of 2010. 90,000 were added in Q3, which after a slow start as summer drew to a close, picked up with Telenet’s back to school campaigns.
Since mid-October Telenet has become a full MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), which Sickinghe said would give increased operational and financial flexibility.