Q4 revenue up at Kabel Deutschland

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COLOGNE, Germany -- German cable giant Kabel Deutschland (KDG) increased revenues and cut losses in the fourth quarter of 2006 as the roll-out of digital TV in Germany picked up steam.

KDG announced Wednesday that in the three months to Dec. 31, sales revenue jumped 8.5% to €273.3 million ($361.2 million) compared with €251.9 million over the same period in 2005.

The company, which is controlled by private equity group Providence Equity Partners, lost €2.3 million ($3 million) in the final quarter, against a €10 million loss in Q4 2005.

For the full nine-month period ending Dec. 31, revenues at KDG jumped 8% to €813.2 million ($1.1 billion) compared to €752.7 million over the same period a year earlier.

Christof Wahl, the spokesman for KDG's management board, said the growth was largely due to the rapid digitalization of the company's vast cable network, which reaches about 10 million customers across Germany.

"We are proud to say that, to date, we have enabled more than 1 million households to make the switch to the digital age," Wahl said. "In particular, since we began offering customers free set-top boxes, the number of digital households (in Germany) has seen rapid growth."

KDG offers a digital bouquet of 76 channels on its Kabel Digital service as well as selling Internet and telephony services over its cable lines.

Wahl said the company repaid about €75 million ($99 million) of its existing debt in the nine months through Dec.31 but still holds debt totalling €1.96 billion ($2.6 billion).

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