Virgin Media says it is adding cable customers at its fastest-ever rate. The UK cabler has reported Q1 gross additions of 193,100, an increase of 15.5%, and 232,300 “additional product subscriptions” that may also spell the end for the term RGU.
Virgin’s strategy of pouring value in its big basic package, along with increased broadband take-up and mobile subscriptions now in excess of one million has resulted in a year-on-year ARPU increase of 5.3% to £45.01. Churn remains at a record low of 1.1%. Triple Play is taken by 61.9% of the subscriber base and quad-play penetration has now reached 11%.
The quarter closed with 3,729,600 television subscribers, 3,910,100 broadband cable subscribers and 1,030,900 contract mobile customers.
“A combination of higher gross additions, low churn and increased ARPU enabled us to deliver year-on-year cable revenue growth for the fourth consecutive quarter,” said Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett. “We are developing our services to exploit our natural network advantage, both now and in the future.”
The second successive quarter of OCF growth – a measure close to EBITDA – saw a 14.1% revenue rise to £356 million. Net losses of £160.4 million, are roughly on a par with the £154m from Q1 2009, but have also climbed over the last 12 nine months from £49.3m in June.
Berkett said the completion of the company’s debt refinancing had left it with a capital structure that was “fit for purpose” and would support its our ambitions to lead the market as the digital provider of choice.