At the same time, according to the company’s latest set of results, its video RGU total fell by 60,500 during the quarter, compared to 45,200 a year earlier.
The revenue decline was steepest in Switzerland in Q1 (-3.7%) and the only markets showing growth (+2.2%) were the continuing operations in CEE (Poland and Slovakia).
Meanwhile, operating income fell from $117.6 million in Q1 2018 to $105.5 million in the first three months of this year.
Net earning in Q1 amounted to $7 million in Q1, as opposed to a loss of $1.187 million in Q1 2018.
Liberty gained 25,000 cable RGUs in its continuing operations in Q1 compared to a loss of 10,000 a year earlier. UK/Ireland (+59,200) and Poland/Slovakia (+44,000) were the star performers in RGU growth as a whole, while Belgium (-35,700) and Switzerland (42,900) both saw losses.
In Switzerland, UPC lost 23,000 TV customers in Q1, compared to a 32,000 loss in the previous quarter.
This was driven by the rollout of the new UPC TV Box and as of the end of Q1 107,000 had already been deployed in the market.
Significantly, March was also UPC Switzerland’s strongest sales month in the last two years.
Meanwhile, Liberty’s discontinued operations in Germany saw their revenues slump by 10.7% year-on-year to $699.2 million in Q1.The number of TV customers fell by 32,800 in Q1 to 6,267,600.
In his comments on the results, CEO Mike Fries said: “A year ago we announced the sale of our operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic to Vodafone, which represents the largest divestiture in company history. Since deal announcement we have crossed a number of key milestones and the European Commission is currently in the final stages of its review. We are confident that we remain on track for a successful completion of this transaction during the summer. With respect to the sale of UPC Switzerland to Sunrise, the Swiss Competition Authority is now reviewing the case having received formal notification and we anticipate regulatory approval in the fourth quarter. And finally, we are pleased to announce that the sale of our Eastern European DTH business was completed in early May. We will provide updates in due course regarding our capital allocation decisions with the total proceeds from these transactions”.