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Charter revenues, subs rise in Q3

Tue, 10/31/2006 - 6:53am
Brian Santo, CED

Revenue was up at Charter Communications, and so were the numbers of subscribers to digital video, phone, and data services, but that wasn't enough to keep the company from slipping into the red in its third quarter.

Third quarter 2006 revenue was $1.38 billion, an increase of 9.7 percent over last year. Operating costs and expenses were higher, however, and the company took a number of charges associated with the management of its debt, and with shedding certain operations. The net loss ended up at $133 million.

Charter attributed revenue growth primarily to strong demand for high-speed Internet (HSI) and phone service. HSI customers increased by approximately 88,100; telephone customers jumped by approximately 82,000 to 339,000; and digital video customers rose by approximately 49,400. Analog video customers decreased by approximately 9,200, however.

Bundled customers increased 19 percent compared to third quarter 2005, and revenue generating units (RGUs) increased 210,300 during the third quarter of 2006, a 20 percent increase compared to the 175,500 RGUs added in the year-ago period.

"During the third quarter we increased marketing spend targeting high-value relationships, and accelerated phone service launches to enable bundled service offerings and to generate improved revenue growth," said President & CEO Neil Smit, in a statement.

Total average monthly revenue per video customer (ARPU) increased 11.9 percent, with video ARPU increasing 5.6 percent, and HSI ARPU increasing 4.3 percent, for the third quarter of 2006, as compared to the same period in 2005.

During the third quarter, Charter said it added 1.2 million telephone homes passed, bringing total telephony homes passed to approximately 5.9 million as of September 30, 2006. The Company expects to pass between 6.5 million and 7 million homes with telephone service by year-end 2006.

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