Liberty Global Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

Vodafone and Sunrise transactions remain on track to close during the
summer of 2019 and Q4 2019, respectively

Recently closed the sale of our DTH business in CEE for €180 million

Q1 2019 continuing operations operating income down 10% to $106
million

Confirming all 2019 guidance targets

DENVER, Colorado–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Liberty Global (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK):

Continuing Operations (Including Switzerland)

       

Q1 2019

Net Adds 25,000
Revenue Growth1 (0.6)%
OCF Growth1 (0.5)%
Cash Flows From:
Operating Activities $306 mm
Investing Activities $(368) mm
Financing Activities $(738) mm
OFCF Growth1 74%
Adjusted FCF $(625) mm
P&E Additions $699 mm
 
Continuing Operations (Excluding Switzerland)2 Q1 2019
Net Adds 68,000
Revenue Growth1 (0.2)%
OCF Growth1 0.8%
OFCF Growth1 162%
Adjusted FCF3 $(622) mm
P&E Additions $640 mm
 
2019 Guidance Targets4 (Excluding
Switzerland)
2
OCF Growth1 Flat to Down
Adjusted FCF3 $550 mm to $600 mm
P&E Additions ~$2.7 bn

Liberty Global plc today announced its Q1 2019 financial results. Our
operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, along
with our DTH business and our former operation in Austria (collectively,
the “Discontinued Operations”) have been accounted for as discontinued
operations. UPC Switzerland will continue to be included in our
continuing operations until the pending sale transaction is approved by
Sunrise’s shareholders. Unless otherwise indicated, the information in
this release relates only to our continuing operations.

CEO Mike Fries stated, “A year ago we announced the sale of our
operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic to
Vodafone, which represents the largest divestiture in company history.
Since deal announcement we have crossed a number of key milestones and
the European Commission is currently in the final stages of its review.
We are confident that we remain on track for a successful completion of
this transaction during the summer. With respect to the sale of UPC
Switzerland to Sunrise, the Swiss Competition Authority is now reviewing
the case having received formal notification and we anticipate
regulatory approval in the fourth quarter. And finally, we are pleased
to announce that the sale of our Eastern European DTH business was
completed in early May. We will provide updates in due course regarding
our capital allocation decisions with the total proceeds from these
transactions.

“From an operating perspective, Virgin Media continued to deliver
improved subscriber trends. During the first quarter, Virgin Media
delivered nearly 60,000 RGU additions, a 32% year-over-year improvement
driven by 26,000 new customer relationships. On the innovation front, we
are pushing the envelope in the U.K. In April, we rolled out compelling
new fixed-mobile converged bundles, boosted our top broadband speed to
500 Mbps and launched Intelligent WiFi, a cloud-based adaptive
system that’s designed to significantly improve our customers’ in-home
WiFi experience.

“Our Q1 ARPU performance at Virgin Media was impacted by lower install
and telephony usage revenue, the timing of certain PPV events and
increased promotions in response to market dynamics. However, our
competitive position remains strong and we continue to extend our reach
with Project Lightning, where we are building 400,000-500,000 new
premises every year.

“In Switzerland, we are seeing emerging green shoots from our
multi-faceted turnaround plan. Our Horizon 4 set-top box rollout is in
full-swing with 130,000 boxes installed to date. Customer reception has
been very strong with NPS scores materially higher than our legacy
product. We also revamped our fixed-line bundles and boosted our top
broadband speed to 600 Mbps. On the mobile front, we are beginning to
harvest the benefits from our recent MVNO switch as we added 13,000
subscribers in the quarter, which represents our best Q1 ever.

“As forecasted, we continue to see substantial declines in capital
intensity with Q1 property and equipment additions lowered by
approximately 30% year-over-year. As a result, our operating free cash
flow performance nearly doubled from the prior-year period.

“We will be hosting an earnings call tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. EDT
to discuss our first quarter results. We hope you can join us.”

About Liberty Global

Liberty Global (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) is the world’s largest
international TV and broadband company, with operations in 10 European
countries under the consumer brands Virgin Media, Unitymedia, Telenet
and UPC. We invest in the infrastructure and digital platforms that
empower our customers to make the most of the video, internet and
communications revolution. Our substantial scale and commitment to
innovation enable us to develop market-leading products delivered
through next-generation networks that connect 21 million customers
subscribing to 45 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services.
We also serve 6 million mobile subscribers.*

In addition, Liberty Global owns 50% of VodafoneZiggo, a joint venture
in the Netherlands with 4 million customers subscribing to 10 million
fixed-line and 5 million mobile services, as well as significant
investments in ITV, All3Media, ITI Neovision, LionsGate, the Formula E
racing series and several regional sports networks.

* The figures included in this paragraph include both the continuing
and discontinued operations that we owned on March 31, 2019

Q1 Highlights (on a continuing operations
basis unless otherwise noted)

  • Q1 rebased revenue decreased 0.6%

    • Q1 residential cable revenue5 decreased 1.1%
      year-over-year to $1.9 billion

      • Results driven by revenue contractions in Switzerland and
        Belgium
    • Q1 residential mobile revenue5 decreased 2.4%
      year-over-year to $0.4 billion

      • Strong Swiss results offset by weakness in all other operations
    • Q1 B2B6 revenue5 increased 3.2%
      year-over-year to $0.5 billion

      • Q1 growth in all markets led by performance in Belgium and
        U.K./Ireland
  • Q1 operating income decreased 10.3% year-over-year to $105.5 million
  • Q1 rebased OCF declined by 0.5% to $1,183.3 million

    • Strong results at Telenet were more than offset by softness at UPC
      Switzerland and Virgin Media
  • Q1 property & equipment additions spend down approximately 30%
    year-over-year
  • Built 131,000 new premises in Q1

    • Virgin Media delivered 102,000 new premises in the U.K. & Ireland
  • Completed the sale of our DTH business for €180 million ($202 million)
    in early May
  • Repurchased over $200 million of stock in Q1 2019
  • Solid balance sheet with $3.4 billion of liquidity7
  • Net leverage8 of 5.3x for the Full Company
  • Fully-swapped borrowing cost of 4.3%

Liberty Global (continuing operations)

       

Q1 2019

   

YoY
Growth
(i)

 

Subscribers

Organic RGU Net Additions 24,700
Organic RGU Net Additions excluding Switzerland 67,600
 

Financial (in USD millions)

Revenue
Continuing operations $ 2,868.0 (0.6 %)
Continuing operations excluding Switzerland (0.2 %)
Operating income $ 105.5 (10.3 %)
OCF:
Continuing operations $ 1,183.3 (0.5 %)
Continuing operations excluding Switzerland 0.8 %
 
Cash provided by operating activities $ 306.3
Cash used by investing activities $ (367.7 )
Cash used by financing activities $ (737.5 )
Adjusted FCF:
Continuing operations $ (624.5 )
Pro forma continuing operations(ii) $ (622.1 )

(i)

  Revenue and OCF YoY growth rates are on a rebased basis

(ii)

Pro forma Adjusted FCF gives pro forma effect to certain adjustments
to our recurring cash flows that we have or expect to realize
following the disposition of the remaining Discontinued Operations
and the Switzerland Disposal Group2. For additional
details, see the information and reconciliation included within the
Glossary
 
 

Subscriber Growth

 
    Three months ended
March 31,
2019     2018
 
Organic RGU net additions (losses) by product
Video (60,500 ) (45,200 )
Data 42,400 30,500
Voice 42,800   4,400  
Total 24,700   (10,300 )
 
Organic RGU net additions (losses) by market
U.K./Ireland 59,200 44,900
Belgium (35,700 ) (25,200 )
Switzerland (42,900 ) (43,700 )
Continuing CEE (Poland and Slovakia) 44,100   13,700  
Total 24,700   (10,300 )
 
Organic Mobile SIM additions (losses) by product
Postpaid 72,300 113,100
Prepaid (45,500 ) (49,400 )
Total 26,800   63,700  
 
Organic Mobile SIM additions (losses) by market
U.K./Ireland (6,700 ) 25,200
Belgium9 20,900 31,800
Other 12,600   6,700  
Total 26,800   63,700  
 
  • Cable Product Performance: During Q1 we
    added 25,000 RGUs, as compared to a loss of 10,000 RGUs in the
    prior-year period, as an improved performance in our CEE operations,
    at Virgin Media and in Switzerland was partially offset by weakness in
    Belgium. From a product perspective, voice and data adds showed a
    year-over-year increase, while video losses accelerated year-over-year
  • U.K./Ireland: Q1 RGU additions of 59,000
    represents a 32% increase over the prior-year period, driven by
    success in our Project Lightning footprint
  • Belgium: RGU attrition of 36,000 in Q1
    was primarily due to intensified competition
  • Switzerland: Lost 43,000 RGUs in Q1,
    compared to a loss of 44,000 in Q1 2018, primarily due to continued
    intense competition
  • Continuing CEE (Poland and Slovakia):
    Gained 44,000 RGUs in Q1, as compared to 14,000 added in the
    prior-year period, driven by stronger broadband, voice and video adds
    in Poland
  • Mobile: Added 27,000 mobile subscribers
    in Q1, as 72,000 postpaid additions were only partially offset by
    continued attrition in our low-ARPU prepaid base

    • Q1 U.K./Ireland postpaid mobile net additions of 26,000 were
      offset by low-ARPU prepaid losses, resulting in a net loss of
      7,000 mobile subscriptions; 4G subscriptions now represent 81% of
      our postpaid base
    • Belgium added 21,000 mobile subscribers during Q1
    • Switzerland added 13,000 mobile subscribers in Q1, driven by
      bundling success and a revamped mobile offer following our MVNO
      switch to Swisscom’s network

Revenue Highlights

The following table presents (i) revenue of each of our consolidated
reportable segments for the comparative periods and (ii) the percentage
change from period to period on both a reported and rebased basis:

   

Three months ended

   

March 31,

Increase/(decrease)

Revenue 2019     2018

%

    Rebased %
in millions, except % amounts
 
Continuing operations:
U.K./Ireland $ 1,661.3 $ 1,778.2 (6.6 ) (0.1 )
Belgium 711.9 759.6 (6.3 ) (0.6 )
Switzerland 316.0 344.9 (8.4 ) (3.7 )
Continuing CEE 119.1 129.5 (8.0 ) 2.2
Central and Corporate 60.7 52.7 15.2 (1.1 )
Intersegment eliminations (1.0 ) (1.4 ) N.M.   N.M.  
Total continuing operations $ 2,868.0   $ 3,063.5   (6.4 ) (0.6 )
 
Total continuing operations excluding Switzerland (0.2 )
 
Discontinued Operations(i):
Germany $ 699.2 $ 782.8 (10.7 ) (3.3 )
Austria 109.7 (100.0 )
Discontinued CEE 188.4 201.3 (6.4 ) 2.9
Intersegment eliminations (1.2 ) (1.2 ) N.M.   N.M.  
Total Discontinued Operations $ 886.4   $ 1,092.6   (18.9 ) (2.1 )
______________________________
N.M. – Not Meaningful
(i)   For information concerning our discontinued operations, see note 2.
 
  • Reported revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2019 decreased
    6.4% year-over-year

    • The Q1 results were primarily driven by the impact of (i) negative
      foreign exchange (“FX”) movements, mainly related to the weakening
      of the British Pound and Euro against the U.S. dollar, and (ii)
      organic revenue contraction
  • Rebased revenue declined 0.6% during Q1. This result included the
    favorable impact of a $4.1 million revenue reversal recorded during
    the first quarter of 2018

Q1 2019 Rebased Revenue Growth – Segment Highlights

  • U.K./Ireland: Rebased revenue decrease of
    0.1% in Q1 driven by the net effect of (i) a decrease in residential
    mobile revenue driven by lower volume of handset sales offsetting the
    revenue benefit of an increase in mobile subscribers in Ireland, (ii)
    an increase in residential cable revenue due to higher subscription
    revenue driven by increased subscriber growth and (iii) higher B2B
    revenue due to an increase in internet SOHO subscribers
  • Belgium: Rebased revenue decline of 0.6%
    in Q1 driven by the net effect of (i) an increase in B2B revenue due
    to an increase in SOHO subscribers, (ii) a decrease in residential
    cable revenue due to decreases in cable non-subscription revenue from
    lower sales of equipment and cable sub revenue due to lower
    subscribers and (iii) a decrease in residential mobile revenue due to
    a decrease in mobile ARPU
  • Switzerland: Rebased revenue declined
    3.7% in Q1, primarily due to the net effect of (i) a decrease in lower
    residential cable subscription revenue, which was primarily driven by
    lower average subscriber levels, (ii) an increase in mobile revenue
    and (iii) higher B2B revenue
  • Continuing CEE (Poland and Slovakia):
    Rebased revenue increased 2.2% in Q1 driven by (i) growth in our B2B
    business and (ii) an increase in residential cable subscription
    revenue driven by new build areas
  • Central and Corporate: Rebased revenue
    decreased 1.1% in Q1 due largely to lower-margin sales of customer
    premises equipment to the VodafoneZiggo JV, which began in the second
    quarter of 2018

Operating Income

  • Operating income was $105.5 million and $117.6 million in Q1 2019 and
    Q1 2018, respectively, representing a decrease of 10.3% year-over-year.
  • The decrease in operating income resulted from the net effect of (i) a
    decrease in depreciation and amortization expense, (ii) lower OCF, as
    further described below, (iii) an increase in share-based compensation
    expense and (iv) an increase in impairment, restructuring and other
    operating items, net.

Operating Cash Flow Highlights

The following table presents (i) OCF of each of our consolidated
reportable segments for the comparative periods, and (ii) the percentage
change from period to period on both a reported and rebased basis:

   

Three months ended

   

March 31,

Increase/(decrease)

OCF 2019     2018

%

    Rebased %
in millions, except % amounts
 
Continuing operations:
U.K./Ireland $ 708.3 $ 762.6 (7.1 ) (0.7 )
Belgium 339.0 357.6 (5.2 ) 2.2
Switzerland 163.1 186.5 (12.5 ) (7.4 )
Continuing CEE 57.2 62.3 (8.2 ) 2.0
Central and Corporate (85.7 ) (107.1 ) 20.0 4.2
Intersegment eliminations 1.4   (0.2 ) N.M.   N.M.  
Total continuing operations $ 1,183.3   $ 1,261.7   (6.2 ) (0.5 )
 
Total continuing operations excluding Switzerland 0.8  
 
Discontinued Operations(i):
Germany $ 438.5 $ 492.1 (10.9 ) (3.5 )
Austria 58.8 (100.0 )
Discontinued CEE 70.8 76.8 (7.8 ) 1.3
Intersegment eliminations 7.6   9.5   N.M.   N.M.  
Total Discontinued Operations $ 516.9   $ 637.2   (18.9 ) (2.6 )
______________________________
N.M. – Not Meaningful

(i)

  For information concerning our discontinued operations, see note 2.
 
  • Reported OCF for the three months ended March 31, 2019 decreased 6.2%
    year-over-year

    • This result was primarily driven by the aforementioned revenue
      decline
  • Rebased OCF decline of 0.5% in Q1 included:

    • Unfavorable network tax increase of $5.5 million following an
      increase in the rateable value of our existing U.K. networks,
      which is being phased in over a six-year period ending in 2022
    • The aforementioned favorable impact of a revenue reversal recorded
      in Switzerland during the first quarter of 2018
  • As compared to the prior-year period, our Q1 2019 OCF margin was up 10
    basis points to 41.3%

Q1 2019 Rebased Operating Cash Flow Growth –
Segment Highlights

  • U.K./Ireland: Rebased OCF contraction of
    0.7% was primarily attributable to the aforementioned revenue
    performance, increased programming costs and higher network taxes
  • Belgium: Rebased OCF growth of 2.2%,
    largely driven by lower direct costs as a result of the migration of
    subscribers to our own mobile network
  • Switzerland: Rebased OCF decline of 7.4%
    in Q1, largely due to the aforementioned loss of residential cable
    subscription revenue
  • Continuing CEE (Poland and Slovakia):
    Rebased OCF growth of 2.0% largely driven by the aforementioned
    revenue trend

Net Earnings (Loss) Attributable to Liberty Global Shareholders

  • Net earnings (loss) attributable to Liberty Global shareholders was
    $7.0 million and ($1,186.5 million) for the three months ended March
    31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Leverage and Liquidity

  • Total principal amount of debt and finance leases:
    $30.2 billion for continuing operations
  • Leverage ratios8: At March 31,
    2019, our adjusted gross and net leverage ratios for the Full Company
    were 5.4x and 5.3x, respectively.
  • Average debt tenor10:
    Approximately 7 years, with ~71% not due until 2025 or thereafter for
    continuing operations
  • Borrowing costs: Blended fully-swapped
    borrowing cost of our debt was 4.3% for continuing operations
  • Liquidity7: $3.4 billion for
    our continuing operations, including (i) $0.9 billion of cash at
    March 31, 2019 and (ii) aggregate unused borrowing capacity11
    under our credit facilitiesof $2.5 billion

Forward-Looking Statements and Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,
including statements with respect to our strategies, future growth
prospects and opportunities; expectations with respect to our rebased
OCF growth, our Adjusted FCF and our P&E additions; the anticipated
regulatory approvals, closings and impacts of each of the Vodafone and
Sunrise transactions; the expected use of proceeds of our disposal
transactions; decisions regarding our capital allocation; expectation
with respect to Project Lightning; expectations with respect to the
development, launch and benefits of our innovative and advanced products
and services; the strength of our balance sheet and tenor of our
third-party debt; and other information and statements that are not
historical fact. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks
and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those expressed or implied by these statements. These risks and
uncertainties include events that are outside of our control, such as
the continued use by subscribers and potential subscribers of our and
our affiliates’ services and their willingness to upgrade to our more
advanced offerings; our and our affiliates’ ability to meet challenges
from competition, to manage rapid technological change or to maintain or
increase rates to subscribers or to pass through increased costs to
subscribers; the effects of changes in laws or regulation; general
economic factors; our and our affiliates’ ability to obtain regulatory
approval and satisfy regulatory conditions associated with acquisitions
and dispositions; our and affiliates’ ability to successfully acquire
and integrate new businesses and realize anticipated efficiencies from
acquired businesses; the availability of attractive programming for our
and our affiliates’ video services and the costs associated with such
programming; our and our affiliates’ ability to achieve forecasted
financial and operating targets; the outcome of any pending or
threatened litigation; the ability of our operating companies and
affiliates to access cash of their respective subsidiaries; the impact
of our operating companies’ and affiliates’ future financial
performance, or market conditions generally, on the availability, terms
and deployment of capital; fluctuations in currency exchange and
interest rates; the ability of suppliers, vendors and contractors to
timely deliver quality products, equipment, software, services and
access; our and our affiliates’ ability to adequately forecast and plan
future network requirements including the costs and benefits associated
with network expansions; and other factors detailed from time to time in
our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our
most recently filed Form 10-K/A and Form 10-Q. Further, estimated cash
proceeds from pending dispositions are inherently uncertain and
represent management’s expectations and beliefs and do not take into
account the ultimate use of the proceeds or any other changes in our
capital structure or tax effects, directly or indirectly related to the
pending dispositions. These forward-looking statements speak only as of
the date of this release. We expressly disclaim any obligation or
undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any
forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in our
expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or
circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Balance Sheets, Statements of Operations and Statements of Cash Flows

The condensed consolidated balance sheets, statements of operations and
statements of cash flows of Liberty Global are in our 10-Q.

Rebase Information

For purposes of calculating rebased growth rates on a comparable basis
for all businesses that we owned during 2019, we have adjusted our
historical revenue and OCF for the three months ended March 31, 2018 to
(i) include the pre-acquisition revenue and OCF of entities acquired
during 2018 in our rebased amounts for the three months ended March 31,
2018 to the same extent that the revenue and OCF of these entities are
included in our results for the three months ended March 31, 2019, (ii)
exclude the revenue and OCF of UPC Austria to the same extent that the
revenue and OCF of UPC Austria is excluded from our results for the
three months ended March 31, 2019, and to exclude the revenue and OCF of
entities disposed of during 2018, (iii) include revenue and costs for
the temporary elements of transitional and other services provided to
the VodafoneZiggo JV, Deutsche Telekom (the buyer of UPC Austria) and
Liberty Latin America, to reflect amounts related to these services
equal to those included in our results for the three months ended March
31, 2019 and (iv) reflect the translation of our rebased amounts for the
three months ended March 31, 2018 at the applicable average foreign
currency exchange rates that were used to translate our results for the
three months ended March, 2019. We have reflected the revenue and OCF of
these acquired entities in our 2018 rebased amounts based on what we
believe to be the most reliable information that is currently available
to us (generally pre-acquisition financial statements), as adjusted for
the estimated effects of (a) any significant differences between U.S.
GAAP and local generally accepted accounting principles, (b) any
significant effects of acquisition accounting adjustments, (c) any
significant differences between our accounting policies and those of the
acquired entities and (d) other items we deem appropriate. We do not
adjust pre-acquisition periods to eliminate nonrecurring items or to
give retroactive effect to any changes in estimates that might be
implemented during post-acquisition periods. As we did not own or
operate the acquired businesses during the pre-acquisition periods, no
assurance can be given that we have identified all adjustments necessary
to present the revenue and OCF of these entities on a basis that is
comparable to the corresponding post-acquisition amounts that are
included in our historical results or that the pre-acquisition financial
statements we have relied upon do not contain undetected errors.

Contacts

Investor Relations
Matt Coates, +44 20 8483 6333
John Rea, +1
303 220 4238
Stefan Halters, +44 20 8483 6211

Corporate
Communications
Molly Bruce, +1 303 220 4202
Matt Beake, +44 20
8483 6428

Corporate Website
www.libertyglobal.com

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