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Liberty Global's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: LBTYA

Beginning with perhaps the most important storyline, and that’s our subscriber growth which totaled 445,000 net RGU adds, our best quarter ever in the history of the company. I’ll provide a little more color on this number in a minute, but 11 of our 13 markets are up year-over-year. We continue to exceed even our own internal expectations on sales and churn in most markets. Our recent RGU growth acceleration underpinned rebased revenue growth of 5.5%, which was our best results in six quarters. I know I’ve said publicly that we believe revenue growth in 2012 should exceed 2011 and we’re off to a good start.

And on the cash flow front, we generated rebased operating cash flow growth of 3.1%, a pretty good number given the isolated impact of our 4G rol1out in Chile, and an increased sales volume in Europe. And then free cash flow growth of 15%, which is right in line with our full-year guidance.

As most of you would know, we have effectively closed sale of our Australian business Austar, and should be receiving net proceeds of $1.1 billion before the end of this month. And we are right on track with the integration of our German businesses Unitymedia and KBW, and should be receiving net proceeds, sorry and I’ll give you a snapshot of that market in just a minute, no net proceeds out of Germany.

Sitting back for a moment, it’s worth pointing out that in case you were not following it, that our publicly listed European peers KDG and [DIGO] continue to trade pretty well in the market, certainly at a premium to us which on one level validates our own business and on another level, it shines a light on the left side in our own stock.

And then lastly, our balance sheet remains as usual in very good shape. Pro forma for the Austar sale, our total liquidity will be nearly $5 billion including $2.8 billion of cash. Our debt remains fixed, hedged and long-term with 95% of our debt due in 2016 and beyond. And we’re on pace to complete $1 billion of buybacks this year.

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