Liberty Global Plc (LBTYA:US), the cable company controlled by American billionaire John Malone, reported fourth-quarter sales of $4.47 billion, falling short of analysts’ estimates.
Sales advanced 71 percent from a year earlier, spurred by acquisitions including Virgin Media, the London-based company said in a statement yesterday. Analysts had projected $4.58 billion. The net loss attributable to Liberty Global shareholders narrowed to $121.2 million, or 31 cents a share, from $331.3 million, or $1.27 a year earlier.
Liberty Global, which has spent almost $50 billion to consolidate Europe’s cable industry in recent years, agreed to buy Ziggo NV, the Dutch broadband operator, for 4.9 billion euros ($6.7 billion) last month. Liberty is facing increased competition from rivals including Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) vying for the continent’s remaining cable assets.
“We delivered our third consecutive year of more than 1 million organic subscriber additions,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Fries said in the statement. The fourth quarter “was our strongest quarter of the year,” he said.
The company expects to deliver adjusted free cash flow of about $2 billion this year, Fries said.
Liberty Global fell 0.1 percent to $84.11 yesterday in New York.
(The company plans a conference call at 9 a.m. New York time today. Dial +1-877-545-1414.)
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