Virgin Media has reported an improved third quarter with 13,000 customer additions compared to the 70,300 loss in the previous period. There was also a dramatic improvement in the number of RGUs, the so-called revenue generating units, which increased to 172,900 from 40,300 in the second quarter. Some 122,900 of these were broadband internet customers, dwarfing the number of TV additions, standing at just 20,400.
Virgin will offer existing subscribers discounted offers on additional services. So it is possible for the customer to receive two additional services and the cablenet to receive just £2 additional revenues. Consequently Q3 consumer revenue fell to £607.7 million from £619.3m in the second. Net losses narrowed to £61.0 million from £96.1 million one year ago.
The number of RGUs per customer grew to 2.26 from 2.23 in the quarter and triple play penetration increased to 47.0% from 45.2%. ARPU fell from £42.16 to £41.55, partly due to discounting, but churn fell from 1.8% to 1.7% both on the quarter and year-on-year.
Broadband is once again a key part of the cablenet’s strategy, the current top broadband tier is 20 Mbps, and trials of 50 Mbps speeds are continuing using DOCSIS 3.0. Virgin says it is planning a “significant increase” in broadband speeds during 2008.
Digital TV subscribers are creeping up, now representing 3,167,000 of the 3,417,000 on net TV subscribers. VOD is now available to all digital customers and 45% of customers use the service monthly compared to 36% at the start of the year.