Liberty Global (LGI) has posted significantly higher losses than expected for the second quarter. However, there was also much to cheer the company, with strong growth in advanced RGU take-up and digital cable penetration rising to over 40%.
Revenues in the quarter amounted to $2,172.7 million (€1,643.9 million) up from $1,811.2 million the same period last year, while operating income came to $326.5 million ($148.7 million). The net loss attributable to shareholders was nevertheless $685.5 million, up from $94.1 million in Q2 2009.
Commenting on the latter, the company said it was largely due to “higher foreign currency transaction loses, which are predominantly non-cash, and higher interest and income tax expense.”
Within Western Europe, the company noted particularly strong growth in RGU additions in Q2 in Germany (+73,000), The Netherlands (+38,000) and Belgium (+26,000). However, in the CEE region there was a sharp fall (-54,000, compared to only -1,000 a year earlier) in Romania.
Belgium, Germany, The Netherland and Poland meanwhile drove growth in digital cable, adding 267,000 new subscribers between them in the second quarter. Significantly, over 260,000 of the company’s customers also added an HD or HD/DVR service to their digital package in the quarter.
In the CEE region, the DTH platform UPC Direct continued to lose subscribers in both Hungary (-4,000) and the Czech Republic (-4,500) and gained only 200 in Slovakia.
There is likely to be an improvement seen in these figures later this year once the benefits of switching to the one degree West slot start to be felt.