Ziggo Q1 core profit falls on higher expenses

BRUSSELS, April 16 Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:57am EDT

BRUSSELS, April 16 (Reuters) - Dutch cable operator Ziggo , which accepted a bid by U.S. group Liberty Global , said on Tuesday its core profit fell 4.3 percent in the first quarter, as it spent more to keep its customers and fend off competition.

The group, which in January agreed to be bought in a deal that values it at 10 billion euros ($13.82 billion), said its spending drive would be highest in the first half of the year.

Ziggo, which faces stiff competition from Dutch telecoms group KPN in the battle for broadband customers, said it expected the market to remain competitive and reiterated its guidance for a flat core profit in 2014 compared to last year.

Overall, core profit in the first quarter fell 4.3 percent to 213.1 illion euros, with profit margins falling to 54 percent from 57.4 percent last year. ($1=0.7234 Euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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