Liberty Puerto Rico showed marked revenue growth and a significant increase in revenue generating units, according to its financial results for the third quarter.
The growth was driven by the acquisition of some 22,000 new and reconnected residential and commercial customers and $11 million in funding received from the Federal Communications Commission, which was granted to help restore and improve coverage and service quality from damages caused by Hurricanes Irma and María, Liberty Puerto Rico President Naji Khoury said.
“The funding is helping us to continue restoring services and go into remote areas that are costly. We’re going to hopefully be able to reach those customers before Christmas,” Khoury said. “Without those funds we wouldn’t have been able to finish that part before the end of the year.”
Liberty was one of several telecommunications service providers that received FCC hurricane recovery funding that totaled $51 million for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In August, the FCC announced how much each provider would receive based to its market share.
He attributed the customer growth to several reasons: returning customers; gaining them from competitors; and, people switching back from temporary wireless or “hotspot” solutions.
“Our financial performance for this quarter shows that we have recovered from the hurricanes last year and we have been successful in moving forward with our plans to continue upgrading our services,” said Khoury.
“Our broadband product is breaking records in data delivery and transfer, which shows an increased internet use trend in Puerto Rico. We’re constantly responding to customer demands which is why we recently launched our new 150Mbps bundles,” he said.
“Because of our technology, we can support the incremental demand on the network. Many of the areas with the increased capacity are very new, but we’re seeing customers calling and upgrading,” he said, noting the increased monthly capacity is open to all customers, and depending on the package, may entail an additional charge.
“These bundles offer more value to our customers while providing a more stable, faster Internet service that supports the increased, multiple-device usage occurring today in customers’ homes and businesses,” he added.
Khoury also pointed out that Liberty’s rebuild process is complete, with all reported residential and business customers now online and billable. This, along with successful product launches such as its live-stream app Liberty Go, has been key in Liberty Puerto Rico’s strong third quarter.
“The Liberty Go app is gaining traction, and we’re going to be adding more channels as time progresses,” he said.
Liberty’s B2B division, he added, surpassed pre-hurricane levels while demand in its small office/ home office (SOHO) division continues to grow.
“We’re really happy with the progress of our business segment, in small offices as well as medium and large,” he said. “We have to give credit to our ability to restore the network very quickly, and the value proposition is very good. We installed quickly and serviced quickly – everything is pointing to the right place and we’re seeing the results,” he said of the across-the-board growth in subscribers and revenue.
During the quarter, Liberty also continued to focus on providing the best working environment for its employees, winning the company a spot for second year in a row on the list of Puerto Rico’s Best Employers, nabbing the 10th spot, according to Aon’s study. The awards pay recognition to companies that strive to achieve a high level of engagement and good human resources practices, as well as foster employee excellence.
“We believe that happy, engaged employees provide a better customer experience. Thanks to our great employees we have been able to maintain a positive net promoter score this quarter,” Khoury said.
Strengthening the company’s corporate social responsibility role also took on a growing importance. This quarter, the company’s recently-established Liberty Foundation started gearing up for its upcoming 21st Liberty Foundation Golf Invitational, which will be held Nov. 28-30.
The tournament’s proceeds will benefit local nonprofit organizations focused on child and youth development, plus social, cultural, educational and environmental causes.