Virgin Q3 up on forecasts

Virgin Media beat analysts' forecasts for the third quarter, adding 8,100 net new cable TV households and boosting revenues by 1.3 per cent to 953 million (E1.06bn). The cable operator reported a year-on-year increase in operating cash flow of 6.8 per cent to 348 million for the quarter.

Virgin Media added 37,000 customers to its TV service, taking customer numbers to 3.71 million, with video on demand (VOD) services accessed by 55 per cent of customers at least once per month. The company hit its highest ever average VOD (catch up) views per month of 66m in the quarter. It said that it added 80,800 customers taking its enhanced V+ high definition digital video recorder taking the total to 749,300, or 21 per cent, of its digital TV subscribers.

There was an increase in broadband customer base by 39,000 to 3.77 million. Customers taking high-speed 10Mb or faster broadband services have risen 157 per cent year on year to 2.7 million, or 72 per cent of Virgin's customer base.

Virgin added that it now has 59.5 per cent of customers taking three services – TV, broadband and home phone – while 10 per cent of customers also have a contract with its Virgin Mobile operation, becoming "quadplay" customers.

Virgin Media's share of UKTV, the 50 per cent joint venture with BBC Worldwide, reported a rise in net income year on year from 3.2 million to 5.5 million for the third quarter. This business and possibly all of Virgin’s content business is for sale (see ATV Daily 29/10/09).