Neil Berkett’s Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) grew its customer base and income in all four of its consumer segments during Q1, making it a record quarter for cable customer sign-ups.
Group revenue is up 2.9 percent from last year at £963.2 million, though net loss is up from £132.9 million to £160.4 million after foreign exchange movements and paying down more against debt.
— Broadband: A great quarter for net sign-ups – up 53 percent to 72,300 during the period. Still migrating users to its current maximum 50Mbps service, but only 57,900 of 4.2 million customers take it. 100Mbps is now scheduled for end-of-year.
— TV: 58 percent of viewers now use the built-in VOD. A quarter take the V+HD PVR box.
— Mobile: Pay-monthly subscribers grew 45 percent this year to one million, but at the expense of 196,100 PAYG customers who left, taking income down 2.5 percent (to £131.9 million).
— Telephony: Sign-ups bounced back to 31,400 in the quarter, from just 9,100 a year ago.
It’s all fast about broadband and up-sell for Virgin – 61.9 percent of customers now take three of these products.
Return of advertising pushed income to VMtv channels up 3.7 percent to £33.8 million, while Virgin’s income from its UKTV JV bounced 75.57 percent to £6.5 million, though the company is funded by a £126 million loan from the cable co.
Virgin says the recent £1.9 billion, five-year credit facility it inked is the “last step” in its three-year refinancing programme. The company has £6.1 billion of debt.