Subs boost but Liberty Global Q2 counts cost of Covid | Major Businesses | Business
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Noting that it was navigating ‘effectively’ through unprecedented times against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, Liberty Global has posted a mixed set of financial results for its second quarter with a marked uptake in subs for services, especially broadband, but with a similar drop in revenues.
VirginMedia network 25March2020
For the quarter ended 30 June 2020, the company posted total revenues of $ 2.723 billion, falling 4.5% compared with the same tine in 2019. For the half year Liberty generated in total $5.599 billion, slipping back 2.1% on an annual basis. Second quarter loss from continuing operations increased 48% YoY to $503.8 million in total while when compared to Q2 2019, adjusted EBITDA slipped down 0.2% on a reported basis and 0.4% on a rebased basis to $1.189 billion.

But there was better news from a customer perspective. After a poor second quarter of 2019 when it bled subs, a net loss of 28,600 customers, Q2 2020 saw Liberty Global make 7,700 organic customer additions. Year to date, the company had lost 11,200 customers, 63% better than a year ago. Stand out performer for customer adds was the Virgin Media UK and Ireland division which for the three months ended 30 March 2020 put on 23,900 customers, turning around a Q2 2019 loss of 5,600 subs. Year to date for the half year, Virgin Media had made net organic customer additions 22,800, compared with 19,900 in 2019.

Drilling deeper into the financial performance of the UK/Ireland, division,Liberty Global revealed that the business’s rebased revenue decreased 3.6% year-on-year in Q2 to $1.531 billion, with a number of revenue streams being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, including lower cable revenue associated with pausing or cancellation of certain sporting events, lower handset sales due to retail store closures, lower revenue from late fees due to the temporary suspension of late payment charges during the lockdown period and a reduction in revenue from business network services. These decreases were only partially offset by an increase in wholesale revenue related to long-term leases of a portion of our network.

Commenting on the Q2 results, CEO Mike Fries said: “Our fibre-rich networks continue to perform extremely well despite the surge in usage over the last several months. We understand the importance of seamless connectivity and strive to deliver the best possible products and services to our customers…We are making great progress with pre-merger planning for our announced combination of Virgin Media and O2 UK and are working closely with the European Commission and UK regulators to ensure a smooth review of the transaction…Despite uncertainty regarding the medium-term impact from the Covid-19 crisis, we are reaffirming all of our original full-year guidance metrics.”