UPC: Growth in CEE region in third quarter is offset by decline in Romania and Hungary

Newsroom 04/11/2010 | 13:01

UPC Romania is still struggling to cope with the recession and fierce competition on the telecom market, as shown in the Liberty Global Inc. report publishing the financial results for the third quarter of the year.

Liberty Global posts slight growth in the Central and Eastern European region, but for Romania and Hungary, which were the least performing of the CEE countries.

“With respect to Q3 rebased revenue growth, our European broadband operations achieved year-over-year growth of 6 percent, of which our Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) regions accounted for rebased revenue growth of 7 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Of particular note, our German and Dutch operations delivered Q3 rebased revenue growth of 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively. In terms of our rebased revenue growth in CEE, our top line growth in Poland was largely offset by rebased revenue declines in Romania and Hungary,” says the Liberty Global report.

In Romania, television subscribers totaled a number of 1,156,000 which represented a 6.6 percent decrease on Q3, 2009. The sharpest decline was in the number of analogue cable subscribers, which declined to 694,200. Thus, on September 30, UPC had 178,600 less analogue cable subscribers compared to the same period of last year. “A decline in the number of clients of analogic television can be noticed. This was triggered also by the migration of analogue cable customers to the digital service,” says Severina Pascu, CFO UPC Romania.

The number of digital cable subscribers of UPC Romania on September 30 was 263,600, which represents a 30 percent growth on Q3, 2009. “This is an evolution which proves there is still demand for products with supplementary functions and advanced technologies, this is why we have continued to expand our digital services in new towns such as Petrosani, Petrila and Medgidia,” says Pascu.

Also, UPC Romania had 198,200 DTH subscribers at the end of September, which also represented a growth, of 23 percent, on Q3, 2009. In the HD television segment, where it offers 11 HD channels, UPC has attracted 16,000 clients since the launch of one year ago.

The number of UPC internet subscribers was 256,000, the company having lost only 400 clients on this segment. “We are preparing to launch Internet Fiber Power in the beginning of next year (…) In November 2010 we will launch it in Cluj, and over the next months in cities in the rest of the country,” says Pascu.

However, the decline in the telephony segment was steeper: UPC had 142,200 telephony subscribers in September, having lost 2,300.

The total number of RGU that UPC had in Romania on September 30 was 1,554,200, which represented a 5.1 percent decline on Q3, 2009.

Otilia Haraga

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