John Malone's Liberty Global Posts Wider Quarterly Loss

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Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries

The international cable operator lost 72,000 video subscribers, its lowest second-quarter drop since 2006.

John Malone's international cable operator Liberty Global reported a wider loss for the second quarter, but operating earnings rose.

The company posted a loss of $249.9 million after a year-ago loss of $11.6 million as it took a hit on financial instruments. The company said it lost money on derivatives, which "to a large extent" explained the widened loss. They more than offset a $333 million gain related to the sale of the firm's former content arm Chellomedia.

Liberty Global's second-quarter operating profit rose 50 percent to $669.5 million, though. Revenue increased to $4.60 billion from $3.06 billion.

The company added 239,000 new subscriptions in the latest quarter, with broadband services being the biggest driver. It ended June with 48.9 million subscriptions for 24.5 million unique customers.
The services consisted of 21.7 million video, 14.8 million broadband Internet and 12.4 million telephony subscriptions.

Liberty Global said it posted its lowest second-quarter video subscriber drop since 2006 with a decline of 72.000.

"Our business is thriving on all fronts — operationally, strategically and financially," said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries. "We are also executing on our content strategy, with plans to invest in All3Media, a U.K.-based global production company, and De Vijver Media, a leading commercial broadcaster in Belgium, and with the recently completed acquisition of an interest in ITV, the largest commercial broadcaster in the U.K."

He added: "These financially attractive investments require limited equity capital and will allow us to participate or partner with great content businesses that should bolster our core cable operations over the long term."

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