Poland and Slovakia provided a ray of sunshine for Liberty Global in what were otherwise largely disappointing third quarter results.
In the former, UPC Polska was able to post the fourth consecutive quarter of growth of its subscriber base, up 39,700 year-on-year to 1,470,600 at the end of September. It could also point to significant increases to its internet, TV and fixed-line telephony base over the previous 12 months, up by 58,000, 27,700 and 35,100 respectively.
Furthermore, the number of Connect Box clients rose to 676,150 (+119,934) and those receiving Horizon to 713,834 (+103,183).
However, when it came the third quarter UPC Polska saw two particularly important developments. Highlighted by its CEO Robert Redeleanu, they were the launch of mobile services and increase of the reach of its gigabit internet service. In Q3, the latter covered over 2 million additional homes in 13 new towns throughout the country.
Meanwhile, UPC Slovakia saw its RGU total rise by 9,200 to 395,900 in the year to September 30. It also continued to invest in its giga network, which as of Q3 was already available to 617,900 households, or 6,100 more than a year earlier.
Like its counterpart in Poland, UPC Slovakia also saw year-on-year rises in its internet, TV and fixed-line telephony base. However, they were more modest, and only 1,900 in the case of TV.
While all this looks positive, it comes against the backdrop of continued uncertainty as to Liberty’s plans for the region. Having already sold its operations to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to Vodafone, it is probably only a matter of time before it also disposes of its assets in Poland and Slovakia.
The fact that they are performing so well makes them more attractive to prospective buyers.