Belfast Telegraph

Virgin Media's revenues rise despite cable setback

By Jamie Grierson

Telecoms group Virgin Media has said it had 36,000 fewer cable customers between April and June as consumers struggle in the weak economic climate.

The company, which offers broadband, television and phone services, said 90% of the decline was made up of lower-spending customers.

The average spend per user was up 3.2% to £47.35 in the period.

The drop compares with net additions of 20,200 in the first quarter of the year and brings total cable customers in the business to 4.8 million.

Despite the decline in cable users, Virgin Media saw a 2.2% rise in revenues in the quarter to £986m, which included a 3.9% increase in revenues from the cable business.

Virgin said the mix of its customer base continued to improve with half of new broadband customers taking 30MB speeds or higher.

Nearly one million customers are on tiers of 20MB speeds while some 170,000 customers are on superfast 50MB and 100MB speeds.

Neil Berkett, Virgin Media chief executive, said: "There is a growing and increasingly broad-based population of people who are becoming dependent on next generation digital technology and are prepared to pay for quality services."

Virgin, which has 3.8 million television customers, launched its TiVo service in the period, which can record and pause programmes.

Shares in Virgin Media fell nearly 3% to 1670p following the update.