Liberty Global posts 2Q loss on Virgin Media costs

Liberty Global posts 2Q loss, dragged down by costs of acquisition of Virgin Media

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Liberty Global plc's shares fell Friday, a day after the international cable TV and Internet provider reported a loss in its second quarter because of costs related to its acquisition of Virgin Media.

The company, which is based in Denver and controlled by John Malone, said it lost $11.6 million, or 4 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30. That compares with a profit of $701.6 million, or $2.60 per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 25 percent to $3.16 billion in the second quarter.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.05 billion.

"The highlight of our second quarter was the successful acquisition of Virgin Media," Liberty Global's President and CEO Mike Fries said in a statement. "This transaction marks an important milestone in our efforts to consolidate what remains a very fragmented European cable market. Virgin Media significantly enhances both the scale of our business and our levered equity growth strategy."

Liberty Global plc completed its roughly $24 billion acquisition of Virgin Media Inc. in June, creating one of the world's largest providers of cable TV, Internet and phone service.

The deal expands Liberty's global reach with Virgin's U.K. presence. The combined company offers video, voice and broadband services to 25 million customers, mainly in Europe.

Liberty Global is now the parent company of Liberty Global Inc. and Virgin Media.

The company said Thursday it had 24.5 million customers at the end of the quarter.

Shares fell $2.44, or $1.96 per share, to $79.03 in late morning trading Friday, The second-quarter earnings report was released during after-hours trading on Thursday.

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