Liberty Global’s Latin American and Caribbean group, or LiLAC, reported a year-on-year rise in total customers and revenue-generating units of 1.3 million and 1.9 million respectively in the second quarter after closing the acquisition of UK-based telecoms group Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) for around USD 7.4 billion in May. At 30 June, the LiLAC Group provided a total of 5.4 million subscription services to 3.0 million unique fixed-line customers across 6.0 million homes passed in Latin America and the Caribbean. The services consisted of 1.7 million video, 2.0 million broadband and 1.7 million telephony subscriptions, with the group adding 18,000 customers and 46,000 RGUs in the second quarter.
The group said its subscriber growth was driven by 31,000 broadband additions in Q2, mainly thanks to the higher speeds now offered in markets such as Chile and Puerto Rico. In fact, Chile’s VTR delivered record customer additions of 24,000 during the quarter, led by a 30 percent year on year rise in broadband additions due to the continued success of the “Vive Mas” bundles. The unit also added 10,000 video subscribers, while losing 3,000 fixed-line telephony subscribers. In Puerto Rico, the group gained 2,000 RGUs during the quarter, consisting of 4,000 fixed-line voice additions, flat broadband results and 2,000 video losses.
On the mobile front, LiLAC ended the quarter with a total of 3.8 million subscribers, the vast majority of which were attributed to CWC (3.7 million), with the group adding 7,000 mobile subscribers in Chile alone. There were also positive results in Jamaica, where the group added 3,000 mobile subscribers in the May-June stub period, and Panama, where the mobile base increased by around 1,000 customers. However, LiLAC experienced a decline of 5,000 subscribers across the remainder of the CWC footprint, including 2,000 in Barbados.
LiLAC’s total revenue came for the quarter to USD 602.9 million, compared to USD 311.4 million a year earlier, driven by the CWC acquisition and, to a lesser extent, the group’s organic revenue growth, partially offset by adverse foreign exchange movements. Rebased revenue growth was 3 percent year on year, led by VTR’s 6 percent growth in Chile but impacted by CWC’s overall revenue contraction of 1 percent due to declines in Barbados, the Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago. The group also reported an operating loss of USD 21 million in Q2 compared to a USD 66 million operating gain in the earlier quarter due to the inclusion of CWC.