NTL buy boosts Liberty’s cash flow

14 Mar 2006

International cable and broadband giant Liberty Global has attributed a 24pc increase in operating cash flow to US$1.7bn to its acquisitions of NTL Ireland and Cablecom in Switzerland during the year.

Revenues for the year ended were up 29pc to US$5.1bn. The company reported a net loss of US$84m or 20 cents a share.

During last year Liberty Global completed its €325m acquisition of NTL Ireland through its acquisition of MS Irish Cable Holdings BV. Liberty Global had already acquired cable and content companies in Romania and Holland and recently closed an acquisition of Cablecom, one of the largest cable operators in Switzerland.

The company acquired Irish cable firm Chorus in 2004 for €55m and beat a number of consortiums to the post in acquiring NTL Ireland for €325m, with Morgan Stanley buying the firm on behalf of Liberty pending the Competition Authority’s approval of the acquisition.

According to the company’s latest figures the combined NTL and Chorus operations passed a total of 887,200 homes, of which 601,000 could be termed revenue-generating units (RGUs).

The latest figures from Liberty Global suggest its Irish assets have 225,000 homes serviceable for broadband internet services. Out of these, 25,000 people have signed up for broadband. In terms of telephony services, some 24,200 homes could be served with telephony but so far only 400 have actually signed up for telephony services.

By John Kennedy