Europe cable biz remains strong

Profits rise to $111 mil after '07 loss

BERLIN -- Broadcast TV is weak across Europe but the cable business remains strong, as was demonstrated Friday with the release of impressive year-end figures from Unitymedia.

Profits soared to 86 million euros ($111 million) after a 49 million euro loss in 2007 and revenue, juiced by the rapidly expanding triple-play business, hit 1.22 billion euros ($1.57 billion).

Unitymedia also profited by charging higher carriage fees to pay TV group Premiere, earning 81.2 million euros ($105 million) with this business segment compared with 54 million euros a year earlier.

But Unitymedia continues to lose customers, counting only 4.62 million households by Dec. 31, 140,000 less than in 2007. This decline is mainly due to analog customers switching to other cable providers.
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