International cable TV operator Liberty Global has reported a US$25.1m first-quarter loss but its newly merged German cable TV business has grown.
Liberty had posted net income of US$342.4m for the same period a year earlier, though the latest figures come after a busy period for the firm during which it bought Germany’s second largest cable operator Kabel BW (KBW) for €3.2bn (US$4.1bn). It already owns Unitymedia.
Consolidating the results for KBW and Unity helped Liberty’s German UPC Broadband division grow its operating cash flow by 61.7% to US$323m from US$199.8m a year ago. UPC’s Dutch and Swiss arms also grew slightly.
“The integration of our two German operations is well underway, and we’re excited about the growth potential of the combined business,” said Liberty president and CEO Mike Fries.
Meanwhile, John Malone-owned Liberty also revealed it plans to launch its next-generation internet-connected set-top box Horizon in Q3 in the Netherlands, with a roll-out in Switzerland following.
Overall revenue for Q1 2012 was up 12% to US$2.54bn, while operating margins improved 19.5% to 19.2%. The company is set for a windfall of about US$1.1bn after it sells its 54% stake in Australian pay-TV platform Austar to Foxtel later this month. It also plans to repurchase up to US$1bn in stock this year.