Liberty Global video subscribers down 21,900 in Q1 2022Tuesday, May 10th, 2022
DENVER, Colorado — Liberty Global plc today announced its Q1 2022 financial results.
CEO Mike Fries stated, “Product innovation ramped up in the first quarter. In Switzerland, we recently launched the Sunrise Moments loyalty program, available to all customers, which provides reward packages and exclusive experiences. Moreover, Sunrise UPC won the Mobile Network Hotline Test 2022 demonstrating a consistent track record in delivering best-in-class customer service. In the U.K., Stream by Virgin Media was launched in April, offering customers an IP-based entertainment service to aggregate TV channels, video apps and streaming subscription services.”
Q1 Operating Highlights
Sunrise UPC (Consolidated)
Commercial momentum continued in Q1 despite a persisting, albeit softening, competitive environment. Strong sales combined with stable low churn resulted in over 11,000 broadband net additions in Q1. Demand for mobile postpaid remained solid, delivering 45,000 net adds in the quarter across all brands. FMC penetration grew nearly 2% and now reaches 57% of the broadband base. We continue to generate value for our customer base through the launch of Sunrise Moments loyalty program, which provides reward packages and exclusive experiences, as well as the full service offering by our budget brand Yallo.
Continued growth of FMC customer base in Q1 2022, driven by continued uptake of Telenet’s “ONE(Up)” bundles, while lower market flux impacted net new subscriber growth, resulting in 3,000 broadband net adds and 9,000 postpaid mobile net additions. Telenet entered into a binding agreement with DigitalBridge Group, Inc. regarding the sale of its mobile tower business, which is expected to close in Q2. Telenet continues to progress on plans to develop “the data network of the future” with Fluvius through its joint fixed network infrastructure in Flanders.
VMO2 (Non-consolidated Joint Venture)
The VMO2 JV remains focused on innovation. Fixed and mobile price increases were implemented to support revenue growth and continued investment in the future as the demand for premium connectivity continues to increase. The broadband base remained broadly flat with a 1,000 net reduction in Q1, while mobile postpaid continued to show net adds of 11,000 during the quarter. Average speed across the company’s broadband base has increased 24% YoY and now reaches 231Mbps, 4x the national average. Launch of Stream for Virgin Media, a new IP-based entertainment service offering customers a new way of aggregating TV channels, video apps and streaming subscriptions, delivered entirely through the company’s broadband service. Investment in the U.K.’s digital infrastructure continues through Project Lightning, completion of FTTP upgrade pilots and the extension of 5G services.
VodafoneZiggo (Non-consolidated Joint Venture)
Successful execution of the commercial strategy despite increased promotional intensity in the market delivered 37,000 mobile postpaid additions, passing the 5 million SIMs milestone while stabilizing mobile postpaid ARPU. The market saw some increased levels of competition around the Formula 1 season as well as increased promotional activity by competitors impacting broadband RGUs, which declined by 17,000 in Q1. Continued progress in upgrading the network which now offers Gigabit speed in almost 80% of the country and targeting nationwide coverage by the end of the year. Price increase was communicated to customers to support further investments to ensure high quality connectivity through SmartWifi and 5G.
Operating Data — Video subscribers
March 31, 2022 vs. March 31, December 31, 2022 2021 ----------- ------------ Continuing operations: Belgium 1,747,300 (14,700) Switzerland* 1,243,400 3,600 Ireland 293,200 (9,100) Slovakia 167,500 (1,700) Total continuing operations 3,451,400 (21,900) Discontinued operations: Poland** 1,411,500 14,300 VodafoneZiggo JV 3,705,300 (24,500)
*Pursuant to service agreements, Switzerland offers broadband internet, video and telephony services over networks owned by third-party operators (“partner networks”). A partner network RGU is only recognized if there is a direct billing relationship with the customer. At March 31, 2022, Switzerland’s partner networks accounted for 112,000 Fixed-Line Customer Relationships, 290,000 RGUs, which include 106,000 Internet Subscribers, 102,000 Video Subscribers and 82,000 Telephony Subscribers. Subscribers to our video services provided over partner networks largely receive basic video services from the partner networks as opposed to our operations. Due to the fact that we do not own these partner networks, we do not include the 463,600 homes passed by Switzerland’s partner networks at March 31, 2022. In addition, with the completion of the acquisition of Sunrise, we now service homes through Sunrise’s existing agreements with Swisscom, Swiss Fibre Net and local utilities, which are not included in Switzerland’s homes passed count. Including these arrangements, our operations in Switzerland have the ability to offer fixed services to a national footprint.
** Sale of UPC Poland completed on April 1st
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