Unitymedia Q4 2007 subscriber growth updateThursday, February 7th, 2008
Another record quarter of Digital TV, Internet and telephony growth
- Over 30% Q4 increase in new service subscriptions to 1.28m, 21% of total RGUs at December 31, 2007
- Successful digitalization campaign “Jetzt Digital” and accelerating broadband
- 100% digital capable network in NRW and Hesse, now 66% upgraded for full Triple Play
Cologne — Unitymedia, Germany’s second largest cable-based services provider, set another quarterly growth record for new services in the fourth quarter of 2007, growing Digital TV, Internet and Telephony RGUs by over 30%, or 312,000 RGUs, in the quarter to a total of 1.28 million new services RGUs at December 31, 2007. New service RGUs represented 21% of total RGUs, an increase of 104% compared to end 2006.
The digital TV subscriber base increased by 196,000 in the quarter to 789,000, accounting for 17% of basic cable subscribers, with continued traction in the “Jetzt Digital” campaign launched in September 2007 as over 169,000 analogue subscribers converted to digital by 31 December 2007. This trend is also expected to further drive take-up of pay-TV offerings. The basic cable subscriber base declined by 82,000 in the quarter to 4.76 million in line with expectations as a result of the recent analogue price increases and the successful push towards digitalization.
Net additions to Internet were the highest yet in a quarter, increasing by 75,000 in the fourth quarter to 311,000, an increase of 149% over 2006. Internet take-up has accelerated significantly under the unified Unitymedia brand with the roll-out of the Unity3play triple play offer on an increasingly upgraded network, and through the continued success of the wholesale Multimedia Anschluss (“MMA”) product for landlords and housing associations. Similar growth was achieved in telephony with RGUs growing by 41,000 in the fourth quarter to 175,000. Unitymedia recently launched a premium 32 MB/s product, and, as of January 1, the download speed of the €30 Unity3play product has been increased from 6 MB/s to 10 MB/s.
At arenaSAT the subscriber base remained stable with 334,000 subscribers at December 31, 2007.
Management confirms the upper end of, or marginally above, its previously increased guidance for full-year 2007 Unitymedia Cable EBITDA of €320-325 million while capital expenditure is expected within the previously announced range of €160-170 million, both on an unaudited basis under German GAAP (HGB). Arena Q4 2007 EBITDA is expected between €13-16 million EBITDA on an unaudited basis. Full-year 2007 IFRS financial and operating results for Unitymedia are to be released on April 17, 2008.
Parm Sandhu, Chief Executive Officer of Unitymedia, commented:
“Another quarter of record-breaking growth in triple play services confirms that we are now a leading consumer brand in the German media and communications industry.
I believe Unitymedia is setting new benchmarks for success in today’s competitive marketplace. Our Q4 subscriber growth is a clear customer endorsement of the strength of our brand and services. We are seeing increasing traction from the June 2007 rebranding and launch of the integrated triple play offering alongside our increasing number of upgraded homes which now stands at 5.7 of our 8.6 million homes passed.”
Unitymedia Cable – Summary Operating Statistics
in '000s 31.12.2006 30.09.2007 31.12.2007 % YoY Change Analogue(1) 4,487 4,250 3,973 -11% Digital 443 593 789 78% Basic Cable Subscribers 4,930 4,844 4,762 -3% Digital TV Basic only(2) 58 164 333 474% Digital TV Pay(3) 385 430 456 18% Digital RGUs 443 593 789 78% Retail Broadband Internet 80 158 199 148% Wholesale MMA Internet(4) 45 78 112 149% Internet RGUs 125 236 311 149% Telephony 58 134 175 202% Total RGUs 5,556 5,807 6,037 9% Total RGUs excl. Digital TV Basic only 5,498 5,643 5,704 4%
(1) Customers with analogue basic cable only; reflects one-time consolidation adjustment for TC West of 160k subscribers at 12/31/06
(2) BCS customers subscribing to the Digital Basic product only, without taking further digital pay-TV packages
(3) Digital pay-TV customers are also required to take the Digital Basic product
(4) Multimedia Anschluss (MMA) wholesale Internet product for landlords, excluding units which upgrade to retail broadband Internet
arena – Summary Operating Statistics
in '000s 31.12.2006 30.09.2007 31.12.2007 % YoY Change arena Satellite 323 334 334 3%