Ziggo profit up on TV-internet take-up
BRUSSELS, July 17
BRUSSELS, July 17 (Reuters) - Dutch cable operator Ziggo , which has accepted a takeover bid by U.S. group Liberty Global, said on Wednesday its core profit rose 2.2 percent in the second quarter as it drew more customers to its combined internet-TV offers.
The group, which in January agreed to be bought in a deal that values it at 10 billion euros ($13.5 billion), had suffered a decline of earnings in the first quarter as it spent more to keep its customers and fend off competition.
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 (EBITDA) in the second quarter rose 2.2 percent to 225.8 million euros, with profit margins dipping to 55.7 percent from 56.4 percent last year.
Liberty's proposed takeover of Ziggo remains subject to a European Commission investigation launched in May. The current deadline for a decision by the Commission is October 17, although this could be extended. ($1 = 0.7393 Euros) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)