Liberty Global has bounced back into profit, its net income of $278.5 million (€198.4 million), equivalent to $0.99 per diluted share, in the third quarter being in sharp contrast to the net loss of $120.3 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, it posted in the same period last year.
Growth was in many ways driven by UPC Broadband’s operations in Western Europe, with their revenues in Q3 amounting to $1,058.2 million, or 39.4% more than a year earlier. However, much of this was down to Germany: year-on-year revenues in the region outside Germany, The Netherlands (themselves down) and Switzerland were 14% down on a year earlier. Those in CEE meanwhile amounted to $269.5 million, or 24.2% less than in Q3 2009.
Revenues for the first nine months of 2010 were nevertheless more positive across the board, with CEE, for instance, being 1.9% higher than a year earlier. Operating cashflow in Q3 in Western Europe and CEE meanwhile amounted to $600.6 million (+42.4%) and $136.2 million (-20.3%) respectively.
Digital cable subscriber growth was strongest in Poland (37,800 added in Q3) and Germany (36,200) in UPC Broadband’s division, along with Belgium, where Telenet gained 51,300 more digital customers.
However, Romania remained a problem, with 9,600 new digital gains offset by a loss of 42,900 analogue subscribers.
Meanwhile in the DTH sector, UPC Direct’s switch to one degree West has yet to start bearing fruit in terms of subscriber numbers.
In the highly competitive Czech Republic, the company lost 11,600 customers, while in Hungary it lost 1,600.
However, the number grew by 2,800 in Slovakia and an even more impressive 10,800 in Romania, where UPC operates Focus Sat.