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UPC loses subscribers but earnings increase to €129m

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TV personality Craig Doyle at the launch of UPC’s Horizon boxes

TV personality Craig Doyle at the launch of UPC’s Horizon boxes

TV personality Craig Doyle at the launch of UPC’s Horizon boxes

Earnings at the main Irish arm of cable TV provider UPC rose 8.5pc to €129m last year in spite of a slight drop in customer numbers.

New figures lodged by UPC Communications Ireland show the firm enjoyed the increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) as revenues rose 5pc to €347m.

The accounts show that the number of UPC customers fell by 7,180 to 528,403.

Combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €97m resulted in the firm recording a pre-tax loss of €32.7m - down sharply on the pre-tax loss of €57m in 2012.

According to the directors' report, "results for the year were in line with management expectations".

The directors state that they "are satisfied with the performance of the company for the year of trading".

They said that the firm is investing its capital in the expansion and upgrade of its network to enable development and provision of advanced services to its customers.

UPC incurred capital expenditure of €53.54m last year following a capital spend of €56.7m in 2012.

The revenue breakdown at the Irish arm of US cable giant Liberty Global show that residential revenues make up 94pc, with business revenues making up the remainder.

Operating profits increased more than three-fold from €10.45m to €33.1m. However, interest payable of €65.5m resulted in the pre-tax loss of €32.77m.

Revenues from analogue, digital and broadband services increased from €278.55m to €292.2m with revenues from telephony - residential and business - increasing from €51.9m to €55.5m.

Numbers employed by UPC reduced from 777 to 775 with 347 in marketing and customer service, 327 in technical operations and 101 in administration.

Staff costs fell from €52.5m to €50.5m with the main factor being severance costs of €1.99m in 2012 not reoccurring last year.

Directors' remuneration fell from €878,865 to €872,275.

Irish Independent