Strong Growth in Europe: CEO Liberty Global
Michael Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global, an international cable operator, told CNBC Thursday that a smart pricing strategy and presence in select European markets have helped the company grow, despite Europe's larger economic woes.
"We're big believers in Europe. And our products, as you know, are relatively inexpensive. And we have grown right through this cycle," Fries told CNBC at Davos, where business leaders and politicians are attending the 2012 World Economic Forum that began Wednesday and ends Sunday.
A key part of Liberty Global's strategy is a strong presence in Europe, about 90 percent compared to 50 percent two years ago.
Ireland is the firm's fastest-growing market. "People want fast broadband. They want digital television," Fries says.
Along with competitive pricing, presence in select markets has buffered Liberty Global against euro-zone woes. "We're not really that expensive. And so the discretionary part of spending doesn't impact our business too much," Fries says.
Additionally, "70 percent of our revenue comes from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland — four countries that are doing better than Spain or Portugal. So for the most part we've picked the right markets," he says.
Liberty Global is the second largest global cable operator, behind Comcast .
Comcast is the majority owner of NBCUniversal, which includes CNBC.