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UPC Hungary concludes difficult year with subscriber base intact

UPC Hungary, the Hungarian unit of pan-European cable-television, internet and telephone-service provider UPC, endured a difficult year in 2009 without sustaining a significant decline in subscribers, the business daily Világgazdaság reported on Tuesday.

UPC Hungary lost subscribers in only one of the company's five segments in 2009, closing the year with 448,500 analogue cable-television subscribers, down 24.48% from 593,900 analogue cable-television subscribers at the end of 2008.

The company had 336,300 internet subscribers at the end of 2009, up 4.6% from 321,500 internet subscribers at the end of 2008.

UPC Hungary had 252,700 telephone subscribers at the end of 2009, up 11.86% from 225,900 telephone subscribers at the end of 2008.

The company had 186,000 satellite-television subscribers at the end of 2009, up 1.64% from 183,000 satellite-television subscribers at the end of 2008.

UPC Hungary had 157,400 digital cable-television subscribers at the end of 2009, up 98.24% from 79,400 digital cable-television subscribers at the end of 2008.

UPC Hungary CEO Batzalel Kenigsztein told the Világgazdaság that the company had implemented a restructuring program aimed at increasing efficiency since he assumed leadership over the UPC Hungary nine months ago, adding that the company, which currently employs 1,500 people, had laid off only 100 employees as part of the program.

Kenigsztein said that UPC Hungary had weathered a difficult financial year last year, noting that the company has still not finalized its 2009 financial results.

The UPC Hungary CEO remarked that the company is seeking acquisitions on Hungary's communications market, noting that UPC Hungary is in talks with mobile-telephone companies Vodafone and Pannon regarding the establishment of a mobile segment to accommodate the mobile-internet market.

Kenigsztein said that UPC Hungary has invested €400 million in Hungary so far and intends to invest tens of millions more euros in the country. (MTI-Econews)