Liberty Global Second-Quarter Revenue Up on Subscribers

Liberty Global Plc, the international cable company controlled by billionaire John Malone, said second-quarter revenue increased 51 percent as more people subscribed to its services.

Sales rose to $4.6 billion in the period, the London-based company said in a statement yesterday, matching the average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Liberty Global, which owns cable operators from Hungary to the U.K., and is waiting for European regulators to clear its purchase of Ziggo NV in the Netherlands, has been expanding into TV production and programs to drive growth as the number of worthwhile cable assets for acquisition in Europe dwindles.

“We remain confident that we’ll achieve or exceed all our public guidance targets for the full year,” Liberty Global Chief Executive Officer Mike Fries said in the statement.

In July, Liberty Global bought a stake in ITV Plc, the U.K.’s biggest commercial broadcaster with top-rated shows such as “Downton Abbey.” The 6.4 percent investment was purchased from Rupert Murdoch’s British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc for 481 million pounds ($811 million), with Liberty Global saying it doesn’t plan to make a full takeover bid for now.

In May, Liberty Global teamed up with Discovery Communications Inc. to buy Permira Advisers LLP’s television producer All3Media, in a deal valuing the company at 550 million pounds.

Liberty Global has been waiting for European Union regulators to clear its 4.9 billion-euro ($6.6 billion) purchase of Dutch broadband provider Ziggo after agreeing to buy the company in January. Malone wants to add Ziggo’s 2.7 million cable customers in a combination with its UPC cable unit to take on Dutch carrier Royal KPN NV.

Fries said he’s confident that the Ziggo deal will close in the second half.

During the second quarter, Liberty Global said it provided 48.9 million subscription services, up from 48.6 million at the end of March.

The net loss widened in the quarter to $249.9 million from $11.6 million a year earlier.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.