Virgin Media dashes to £1BN Q3 revs with new TiVo TV Anywhere on horizon

Editor | 23-10-2012

The aggressive marketing campaigns using Olympics giants Usain Bolt and Mo Farah have seen Virgin Media post what it calls ‘solid’ financial performance for its third financial quarter.
For the three-month period ended 30 September, Virgin posted revenue up 2.8% to £1.028 billion consistent with a nine-month trend that led to a total of £3.061 billion, 3.1% up on the figure for the first three quarters of 2011. Operating income was £491 million for the nine months and £180 million for Q3 and net income was £196 million for the nine months and £124 million for the quarter.
The financial results revealed multiple sources of revenue growth with net cable customer additions of 39,500 in Q3 and with churn falling from 1.7% to 1.4% in the quarter. Cable ARPU was up 1.8% to £48.73 in the quarter.
In all, the Virgin pay-TV base increased by 52,200 subscribers. At the heart of the growth was increasing popularity of the much advertised TiVo services for which customers increased 205,900 to 1.14 million and now accounts for 30% of the Virgin cable TV base. High-speed broadband customers with bandwidth of 30 Mbps and above increased 452,900 to 1.8 million and now accounts for now 42% of broadband base.
Commenting on the quarter and the prospects for the company, Neil Berkett, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said: “This has been a quarter where continued strong demand for superfast broadband and TiVo has led to lower churn and meaningful cable customer growth. Combined with progress in our business division, we have again delivered solid financial progress with continued revenue and OCF growth, translating into strong Free Cash Flow and shareholder returns."
Even though TiVo demand remained strong, Virgin stressed that it had also managed the mix between new and existing customers to optimise returns resulting in lower net additions than in the previous quarter. The highest ever TiVo gross additions were achieved from new customers in the third quarter, whilst migrations and cross-sell only accounted for around 48% of TiVo gross additions. This compares with around 60% of TiVo gross additions coming from migrations and cross-sell in the previous four quarters.
Going forward, Virgin revealed that in the coming weeks it will be launching Virgin TV Anywhere, the latest enhancement to the TiVo service, allowing TV customers to stream live channels to an iPhone or iPad as well as PC, Mac computers. The iPad and online versions will also allow TiVo customers to tap into their STBs boxes to record shows, manage recordings and change their series links.