UPC has lost 36,000 television subscribers in Ireland, as its TV business fell by 9pc in the last 12 months. The company blames “increased competition” for its “underperformance”.
In its latest set of company accounts, the company said that its overall Irish TV subscriber base fell from 422,700 to 386,500 over the last year.
It also said that its overall Irish customer base fell from 530,600 to 511,800 over the same time period.
However, its Irish broadband business grew by 17,500, or 5pc, from 348,300 to 365,800 subscriptions in the last 12 months. Its telephone business also grew by 36,600 in the same period.
UPC’s biggest television rival, Sky, is understood to have over 700,000 television customers in the Irish market. The satellite operator has added over 30,000 broadband subscribers in the last year and now has just under 100,000 internet customers here.
UPC is set to launch a new Irish mobile operator service in the second half of this year. The mobile service is expected to combine with the operator’s broadband, television and home telephone services to form a ‘quad play’ package.
UPC could face substantial competition in the broadband market over the next 12 months with new fibre services from Vodafone and Eircom set to launch in some parts of the country.
UPC declined to give specific financial details about its Irish business. However, the operator’s overall revenue for Ireland and the UK fell by 7.4pc (€121m) from €1.65bn to €1.52bn over the last 12 months. Operating cash flow for the two countries combined fell by 3.6pc (€25.2m) from €706m to €680m. However, the operator’s average revenue per user across Ireland and the UK increased by 1.2pc to €66.86 per month.
Despite the challenging financial results, UPC Ireland executives remain upbeat.
“UPC has had a positive start to the year and is continually making strong progress," said UPC chief financial officer, Carol Grennan.
"During the quarter, we launched Ireland’s fastest residential broadband service at 240Mbps. We are seeing solid results from the recent acquisition of Bitbuzz including our launch of Bitbuzz Go which offers free and unlimited WiFi to the hospitality sector. In addition, our business division has expanded its service offering to include a pan-European data connectivity to a further 15 country destinations across Europe."