For immediate release
17 November 1999
Saturn parent, Austar United continues strong revenue and subscriber growth for third quarter of 1999
Saturn Communications today released the latest quarterly results of its Australasian parent, Austar United Communications. Group revenue for the year to September has grown by 82.4% to $186,822,000 compared to the same period in 1998. This resulted in an improvement in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of 58.9%.
"This is another excellent result for Austar United," said John Porter, Chief Executive Officer of Austar United Communications. "This result has the company on track to turn EBITDA positive in the fourth quarter of this year.
"The result is based on strong subscriber growth in each of our three key businesses and, just as importantly, significant increases in average monthly revenues per subscriber."
Saturn Communications grew subscribers in residential telephony, pay TV and Internet by 31%, 25% and 65% respectively for the quarter. Average monthly revenue per subscriber was NZ$101, an increase of 106% on the same period in 1998.
Subscribers in AUSTAR Entertainment grew by 31,706 subscribers for the quarter to 360,708. That number has continued to grow and now stands at over 370,000.
Average monthly revenue per subscriber was $53.84 in September, up from $46.36 in September 1998, indicating the success of tiered programming packages.
XYZ had 871,000 subscribers on the AUSTAR and FOXTEL platforms at 30 September. It now has in excess of 900,000 subscribers.
"Another critical factor in our success has been that churn for AUSTAR Entertainment remains at 2.7%, well below our budgeted figure," Mr Porter commented.
"These strong results in our core businesses position us ideally as we prepare to launch a series of advanced voice, video and data services. These will ensure that Austar United Communications fulfils its goal to be a leading provider of integrated next generation communications services."
About Saturn Communications
Saturn Communications Limited is a Wellington based company offering a full range of telephone services, broadband data, Internet, cable television and Saturn Home Cinema - a pay per view movie service. Saturn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Austar United Communications, an Australasian communications company listed on the Australian stock exchange.
About Austar United Communications
Through its three operating subsidiaries, Austar United (Australian Stock Exchange "AUN") is one of the largest and fastest growing broadband communications companies serving the Australian and New Zealand markets. AUSTAR Entertainment is the second largest pay TV operator in Australia, and the largest providing digital DTH services, with over 370,000 subscribers.
XYZ Entertainment is a significant programme provider in the Australian market and owns and/or distributes Nickelodeon, Discovery, Channel [V], Arena and The Lifestyle Channel to over 900,000 subscribers.
Austar United is 75% owned by UnitedGlobalCom.
United (NASDAQ "UCOMA") is the largest global broadband communications provider of video, voice and data services with operations in over 20 countries. As of September 30, 1999 (and including announced transactions), United's networks reached over 14 million homes and businesses and served more than 7 million customers. In addition, the company's recently launched cable telephony and high speed Internet access businesses served over 243,000 telephony access lines and 85,000 high-speed broadband data accounts. United's significant operating subsidiaries include UPC (51% owned), the largest pan-European broadband communications company, Austar United Communications (76% owned), the fastest growing broadband communications company in Australasia, and VTR Hipercable (100% owned), the largest cable television and competitive telephony provider in Chile.
further information, please contact:
Director, Corporate Development
Tel: 0-4-939 5006
021 638 191