Liberty Global Weighs Financial Impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Liberty Global said it expects to receive insurance proceeds to cover the losses to operations in the Caribbean following in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, but, given the uncertainties linked to the recovery, it’s reviewing its previously-issued 2017 financial guidance for its Liberty Latin America and Caribbean (LiLAC) division, and plans to provide an update at the company’s Q3 call next month.

Liberty also announced that it has donated $1 million toward humanitarian relief efforts in the Caribbean, donating the sum to the Liberty Foundation in Puerto Rico and the Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation.

Liberty Global noted that more than half its mobile sites of Cable & Wireless operations were affected in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Turks & Caicos, but are now online and that the company is making progress with further repairs.

The operator’s fixed networks also “suffered significant damage” in those markets, with work underway to reestablish connectivity as rapidly as possible, the company added.

Liberty Global said it also suffered some damage to its sub-sea systems, but that redundancy measures helped to maintain connectivity in all countries served, except for Dominica, which was temporarily offline but restored after the storms passed.

The areas hit hardest by the storms – Anguilla, BVI, Turks & Caicos and Dominica – represent about 4% of C&W’s Q2 2017 revenues.

The company is still assessing the impact that the hurricanes had on its Liberty Cablevision Puerto Rico operation and C&W in Puerto Rico are still being assessed, noting that business there continues to be challenged by water, fuel and food shortages and “severe damage to essential infrastructure.”

“We expect to receive insurance proceeds to cover the losses to our operations resulting from both Hurricanes Irma and Maria as part of our natural catastrophe risk management program,” Liberty Global said. “Because these hurricanes inflicted damage over a number of days and to a wide area, we are assessing the extent of damage and loss and the applicable terms of our insurance policy.”

Liberty Global said that, at this stage, it can’t provide assurances to the total amount and timing of the insurance proceeds that its operations will ultimately recover. 


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