Liberty Puerto Rico CEO: 2018 was about getting back to where we were prior to the hurricanes
SAN JUAN – Liberty Puerto Rico continued its upward trend in both revenue growth and revenue generating units (RGUs), according to its financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2018 (Q418 and FY 2018) results, which were released earlier this week.
About a year ago, the company went public and since then its revenues have risen, Naji Khouri, president and CEO of Liberty Puerto Rico, told Caribbean Business.
“We are optimistic about the island. We are optimistic about the economy and we are deeply committed to Puerto Rico,” he added.
The telecom company added 31,000 RGUs and reported positive growth in all product lines for Q418. Liberty Puerto Rico registered 5 percent revenue growth for FY 2018. The results were driven in part by the company’s focus on providing products and services that represent a greater value for customers and its responsiveness to current telecom market trends, the executive said.
“2018 was about getting back to where we were prior to the hurricanes. The results have exceeded all our expectations, with record-breaking growth numbers,” Khouri said. “We have strengthened our infrastructure to provide more resiliency and capability, enabling us to offer a wider range of products and services that give our customers better entertainment choices.”
In November, the company launched new 150 Mbps internet bundles, which delivered the lowest price per megabit on the island. The launch also responded to consumers’ increasing demand for higher speeds.
The average consumption of a Liberty Puerto Rico fixed internet household has risen to more than 220 gigabytes per month. Wireless communications industry trade association CTIA stated in its 2018 report that the average mobile internet usage is about 5 gigabytes a month, proving that each technology, fixed and mobile, has its own purpose and that the offerings are complimentary.
Khoury added that the company is also upgrading its video offerings, moving to a more “on demand” strategy versus traditional linear products. New video products include HD Auto Tune, which automatically turns on the HD version of the channel customers select, if available; a new video guide with a more modern, user-friendly format; and more channels on its Liberty Go application.
Liberty Go enables customers to live-stream their channels through their computers, smartphones and tablets. Liberty continues to enhance its “On Demand” platform to provide more entertainment, with new features to make searching for content easier. The platform offers more than 16,000 titles and over 9,500 hours of free programming under “Free on Demand.”
“These enhancements to our video offering, the higher speeds and reliability of our internet service, and our focus on constantly improving the customer experience, have been key to our success,” Khoury said. “Our customer satisfaction measurement, the Net Promoter Score, has remained at positive levels, above industry standards.”
Liberty Puerto Rico invested more than $140 million in Puerto Rico for the restoration of its network after the 2017 hurricanes, bringing about economic activity and creating hundreds of indirect jobs on the island. The company also reinforced its corporate responsibility role in 2018 by strengthening its philanthropic program through the Liberty Foundation. The company has over 1,000 employees.
Khouri said Liberty continues improving its products, video platform and speeds as well as adding more subscribers. As part of its efforts to become more resilient, the company is planning to bury some of its more important lines and find ways to not rely on the electricity grid.