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Liberty Global's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: LBTYA

Our financial results reflect this growth I’ll just hit a few key numbers. Our rebased revenue was up 4% in the quarter which has been the trend pretty much all year. And year-to-date OCF growth is up 5% rebased of course. Now, you will notice that OCF growth in the third quarter was only 2%, but as Charlie will describe in more detail, this number was impacted by our higher than expected sub-growth and the associated CAC and marketing costs as well as some unique items meaningfully higher otherwise.

Looking at the bottom line, free cash flow was up 36% in the quarter and is trending for the year right at our mid-teens guidance. Complementing the continued improvement in growth is the stability of our balance sheet and Charlie will flush this out in more detail, but you will see that leverage continues to trend down a bit. We are at 4.3 gross leverage and 3.7 net with an average maturity approaching years.

And our liquidity position remained strong at $2.3 billion. Of course, that number excludes the $1.4 billion we have set aside for the KBW acquisition and the $1.1 billion we expect to receive as part of the Austar disposition. With the volatility in our stock, we have already surpassed our target of $1 billion in buybacks.

And as you can imagine, we remain active today and will remain active for the rest of the year. And of course this has been a busy year for us on the M&A front as we continue to focus resources on Europe and the opportunity to build market share across our existing footprint which spans now 10 contiguous European countries plus Ireland. During the quarter, we closed the Austar acquisition in Poland which added over 600,000 RGUs to a market that has consistently been one of our strongest performers.

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