Virgin TV shines and next-gen video services grow, but Liberty posts first-half loss | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Rising trends in video, especially in European business with products such as Horizon TV, have been the bright spot for Liberty Global, particularly in Europe, as it revealed quarterly and six-monthly results for the first half of 2017.

Virgin media 1 Dec 2016For the three months ended 30 June 2017, Liberty Global’s European division posted revenue of $3.664 billion, a year-on-year increase of 1.6% leading to a half-yearly total of $7.183 billion, itself up 1.9% annually. However, or the second quarter and half-year, operating income was $483 million and $914 million respectively, falls of 5% and 11.7%.

In the quarter, the division added 162,000 revenue generating units (RGUs) with softer broadband and voice growth partially offset by what were called better video trends. For the half year, Liberty added 406,000 RGUs across European markets, including a 16% year-over-year improvement in Western Europe, underpinned by what the company called its strongest H1 video performance since 2006 and continued network expansion.

The improved video results were attributed to particularly strong performance by Virgin Media in the UK which racked up its best ever Q2 video RGU additions of 33,000, compared with a prior year loss of 17,000. It has now improved its Q2 performance by 50,000 RGUs supported by the relaunch of Virgin TV and the roll-out of the Virgin TV V6 set-top box

By 30 June 2017 nearly a tenth of video subscribers in the UK had a new box. Looking at next-generation TV platforms in the round — including Horizon TV, Horizon-Lite, TiVo, and Yelo as well as the Virgin TV V6 box — Liberty added 302,000 subscribers in Q2 taking its total next-generation subscriber base to 7.2 million, representing 41% of the total cable video base excluding the DTH customer line. Stand-out performances included the UK with 78,000 additions, Belgium (69,000) and Poland (53,000).

Commenting on the quarterly and half-yearly results, Liberty Group CEO Mike Fries said: “Our next-generation video platforms ... continue resonating with consumers, as we've added one million subscribers across Europe during the last 12 months. In the UK, we have been proactively rolling out our new 4k-enabled, Virgin TV V6 set-top box, where we are seeing strong demand from both new and existing customers. In our other markets, we continue expanding the reach of Horizon TV.”