There were more plus than minus points for Liberty Global’s operations in Central and Eastern Europe in the second quarter.
Clearly, there was no escaping from the disappointing figures for UPC DTH in the four markets it is present in. All lost subscribers in the quarter, with the steepest fall being in Hungary (-6,900) and smallest in Slovakia (-400). All told, the number of homes receiving satellite TV services from UPC DTH in the region as of June 30 was, at 811,300, 15,600 lower than three months earlier.
Just as disappointingly, UPC’s operations in the five CEE markets it is present in saw on overall reduction of 3,300 video subscribers in the second quarter.
On the other hand, there were impressive gains in internet (30,300), telephony (27,600) and indeed total RGU (54,600) figures, while the mobile subscriber total increased by 7,300.
In the latter case, it shoud be borne in mind that UPC currently provides mobile services in only Poland and Hungary. Their performance differed significantly in Q2, with the former losing 300 and later gaining 7,600 customers.
If we look more closely at some markets, we can see that in Poland UPC already had 243,548 customers with a Connect Box and 356,200 receiving Horizon as of the end of June. Furthermore, another 40,000 homes were added to its footprint in the second quarter, while the number of RGUs rose by 2,000.
In the Czech Republic, 100,000 homes had already opted for the Connect Box as of the end of June, while 1,465,400 were able to receive the operator’s digital TV and broadband internet services. The latter figure was 14,700 more than three months earlier and nearly 70,000 more than in the same period in 2016.
Meanwhile in Hungary, perhaps the most outstanding stat was that UPC achieved revenue growth of 11.4% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.
Other takeaways included that almost half of digital TV subscribers regularly used Replay TV and a quarter Horizon Go. At the same time, usage of the Connect Box was seven times higher than a year earlier.
Year-on-year revenue growth, at 7.2%, was also impressive in Romania, while the take-up of Connect Boxes stood at 250,000.
All in all, it was a reasonably good quarter for Liberty Global in CEE.