UPC Posts Profit As Debt Deal Approval Nears

18 August 2003

European cable operator United Pan-Europe Communications posted a second-quarter profit as it awaits final approval for its financial restructuring.

Netherlands-based UPC reported net income of €75.2 million ($84.7m; £52.9m), though this was down from €566.5m in Q2 2002. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) jumped 78% to €120.0m, operating losses shrank from €133.0m to €62.3m, and sales rose marginally to €359.4m.

The company is expecting final approval from a Dutch court for its complex debt-for-equity swap later this month. It will then emerge from bankruptcy protection free from two-thirds of its near-€10 billion debt, amassed as the company acquired cable firms across Europe during the tech boom.

The group – control of which will pass to US cable investor Liberty Media [WAMN: 17-Mar-03] – plans to rename itself UGC Europe and seek a Nasdaq stock market listing.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff