2016 was in many ways a good year for Liberty Global in Central and Eastern Europe.
Piecing together the latest results published by the company and its various operations in the region, we see, for instance, that UPC Polska ended 2016 with over one million subscribers using its digital TV services. The one million landmark was also passed for its internet offer.
Poland’s leading cable operator reached almost 3.2 million homes as of year’s end, or 185,000 more than 12 months earlier. Come the end of 2017, this figure will have increased significantly if, as expected, the acquisition of Multimedia Polska receives regulatory approval.
Meanwhile, in Romania UPC ended 2016 with 2.73 million RGUs, while its digital services reached over 2.8 million homes. Its revenues increased by 8.5%, with the internet being the main driver for growth, and the operator again expects to invest some €50 million this year.
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where Liberty Global has now completed the integration of its operations, UPC ended 2016 with a network that covered over 2 million households, providing over 1.5 million services (excluding satellite video) to nearly 804,000 customers. Its TV services were received in 670,500 homes as of year’s end.
In its results, Liberty Global notes that there was an overall increase of 7% in RGUs in Central and Eastern Europe in 2016 thanks mainly to new build, including 60,000 video gains. However, ARPU was lower in most CEE countries.
While there were lower DTH gains in Q4, UPC DTH as a whole also had a good year, growing its RGU total by 3% and revenues by 7%.
Looking forward, Liberty Global is likely to enjoy a similarly successful year in 2017.
Points to keep an eye on will include the take-up of its advanced services and the conditions imposed by the UOKiK for the successful take-over of Multimedia Polska.