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Liberty Posts Wider Loss for Q4

Mar 8, 2006  •  Post A Comment

John Malone’s Liberty Media reported a widened fourth-quarter loss Wednesday, even as sales gains at home shopping channel QVC drove revenue up by double digits.

Liberty, which also owns Starz Entertainment Group, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $86 million, compared with a loss of $2 million in the previous year. Revenue advanced to $2.5 billion from $2.2 billion a year earlier. The company attributed the losses to asset sales and investment value declines.

For the year, Liberty posted a loss of $33 million, versus a profit of $46 million the previous year, while revenue surged to nearly $8 billion from a year-earlier figure of $7 billion.

Despite the red ink, Liberty, which is planning later this year to issue a tracking stock for its interactive assets, said QVC posted strong results, with revenue surging 14 percent to $2.1 billion, thanks to strong U.S. and international sales.

Meanwhile, Starz reported flat quarterly revenue growth of $247 million as an increase in subscribers was offset by the unit’s rising programming costs. Starz officials said they expect programming costs associated with past film-rights deals to continue growing in 2006 but should plateau in 2007.