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Liberty Global's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: LBTYA

Financially, we generated rebased revenue and OCF growth at around 5% for the full year. And we achieved or exceeded all of our public guidance targets as Bernie will outline for you later. Strategically as you know, we’re focused on rebalancing our business into Europe. And we made good progress in that goal in 2011 with the addition of KBW in Germany, and Aster in Poland. We also expect to complete the sale of our Australian business in the second quarter, and over the last seven years we’ve completed well over $20 billion in M&A transactions and accretive to our growth opportunity. Well priced and more recently geared towards building scale in Europe. And then lastly we’re committed to delivering levered equity returns to shareholders, which starts with a balance sheet.

We ended 2011 with $3.5 billion of total liquidity, including $1.7 billion of consolidated cash of course those figures do not include the $1 billion of proceeds that we expect to receive from the Austar sale, which would bring total liquidity to over $4.5 billion. Our access to capital markets remains very strong with over $15 billion in financings completed in the last two years, most of which in lengthening the average duration of our debt structure, which now sits at seven years and minimizing debt repayments in the medium term.

As long with our strong big numbers around here is another one with the equity we’ve repurchased in 2011 we’ve now bought back over 275 million shares representing in the aggregate over $8 billion since 2005 and we just announced our target of another $1 billion in 2012.

On slide five, we added a simplified map of our current footprint. Since we haven’t shown you one of these in quite a while and as you can see today over 90% of 33 million RGUs and 20 million customers reside in 10 contiguous European markets plus Ireland. And as you might expect we’re already seeing the benefits of this concentration and consolidation. Of course operationally in our cash flow margins, procurement savings, talent management, content relationships and network efficiencies, and more strategically in our influence with regulators, negotiating leverage of programmers and free to air broadcasters, ability to source and close acquisitions and of course our access to capital. Now I might just pause to put our size into perspective for a minute. In a last five years or so, we’ve grown to be the second largest cable operator in the world in terms of subscribers, you heard to say that many times.

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