Virgin Media helped Liberty Global gain new customers and grow revenue in the first quarter.
UK-based Virgin was responsible for 31,000 of the 38,000 customers added by Liberty in Q1, compared to a loss of 19,000 in 2020.
Virgin, which is preparing to merge its operations with Telefonica’s O2, experienced its highest first quarter additions since 2017 and a record-low Q1 cable churn. Broadband subscribers grew by 300%.
“A surge in mobile handset sales, coupled with strong top-line growth in B2B, drove our best overall revenue increase in nine quarters,” said Virgin Media CEO Lutz Schüler. “This is combined with sustained investment in gigabit network expansion, digital transformation and customer service – all of which are instrumental components in establishing a stronger and nimbler business for the future.”
FMC [fibre-mobile-convergence or what was once called triple or quad play] was up across all Liberty Global markets.
However, while the UK/Ireland, Switzerland (+4,000) and CEE – Poland and Slovakia (+7,000) all saw gains in Belgium Telenet lost 5,000 customers.
Liberty’s total revenues in Q1 were $3,615.3 million (+25.7%), with those of its Vodafone/Ziggo joint venture also up, by 10.9% to $1,217 million.
Confirming his company’s full year guidance amid an increase in FMC penetration, Jeroen Hoencamp, VodafoneZiggo CEO, said: “In the first quarter we continued to invest in the Dutch Gigabit society and deliver essential high-speed connectivity and entertainment through our GigaNet. We upgraded all our customers to faster internet speeds, launched SmartWiFi offers to improve the in-home experience, switched off legacy analogue TV, and are on track to be able to offer nationwide 1 Gbps download speeds to all customers by 2022.”
Adjusted EBITDA was $1,367.3 million (+18.9%) – in the case of Vodafone/Ziggo $565.2 million (+12.4%) – and net earnings attributable to Liberty’s shareholders $1,385.4 million (up from $849.8 million in the corresponding quarter in 2020).