Virgin Media has reported the strongest growth in revenues since the company’s creation four years ago. The cableco reported a 7.1% increase in revenues to £964 million (€1,151 million) with contributions from across the company including the Mobile and Business sectors. The company has announced a £375 million share buyback scheme to be conducted over the next 12 months.
An additional 9,100 net new customers were added in what is traditionally the weakest quarter in the UK pay-TV market.
“This performance was driven by our ability to offer households and businesses an increasingly differentiated range of digital services,” said Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett. “Going forward, we’ll continue to differentiate our propositions by proactively exploiting the advantages of our network and our mobile capability”.
Among cable customers the average revenue per customer (ARPU) was up by 4.9% to a record £45.88. An additional 259,000 HD customers were added, bringing the total to 1.2 million. In all Virgin has 3,751,000 TV customers including the 23,200 remaining analogue TV customers. The new TiVo middleware is on course to make its debut in a soft launch ahead of Christmas, before being progressively rolled out from the start of 2011.
There were 3,936,000 cable broadband customers, an increase of 25,900. Broadband take-up was five times greater than last year, including a 43% increase in the number of customers taking the current two highest speeds of 20 Mbps and 50 Mbps. A 100 Mbps service will be made available before the end of the year.
4,175,000 fixed line telephony customers represented a fall of 2,700, though off-net telephony increases kept the numbers in the black. 1,097.2 million customers are signed up to mobile telephony.
OCF (EBITDA) grew by 12.9% to £370 million, but there were also increased losses, rising from £55 million in Q2 2009 to £68.5 million in the quarter ending June 30, 2010. This was mostly due to increased interest charges and currency fluctuations.
The numbers strip out the results from VMtv, Virgin Media’s channels business, which is being sold to BSkyB. Including VMtv OCF was £382 million.