Netflix may not turn profitable in 2012

Mon Jan 9, 2012 6:13am EST
 
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By Georgina Prodhan and Matt Cowan

LONDON (Reuters) - Online video and DVD rental company Netflix began gaining U.S. subscribers again in the fourth quarter of last year after a sudden price hike sparked an exodus in the third quarter, Chief Executive Reed Hastings said on Monday.

"What we said a quarter ago was that it was going to turn up in the back half of Q4 and everything's been consistent with that," Hastings told Reuters in an interview in London as Netflix launched its service in the UK and Ireland.

Hastings reiterated that the cost of international expansion would contribute to an overall loss at Netflix this year and declined to say whether the once high-flying company could turn profitable during the course of the year.

"I can't comment," he said. "We're really focused on this global expansion and it is expensive."

Despite the increasing cost of acquiring content for the United States and new international markets, Hastings said he did not expect to raise fresh capital this year.

"No. We're doing great," he said.

Netflix raised $400 million in fresh capital in November after its share price tumbled during a buyback program.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)