Sit up doubles Virgin losses

February 25, 2009 | 09:15 UK

Virgin Media doubled its losses in the fourth quarter, as the cablenet was hit by the loss of the DTT outlet for its shopping channel Sit up TV. Virgin was outbid in the auction to renew the contract for the Freeview capacity. The operating loss of £50 million was more than twice the £18m loss recorded in the fourth quarter of 2007.

However, increased customer revenues, and a record triple play penetration of 55.9% buoyed the cable business.
Revenue Generating Units, the measure of each individual service taken by a customer, added an additional 185,500 to reach 12.41 million.

Broadband and Television customers reached new records of 3.68 and 3.62 customers respectively. The company said 1.2 million customers were now on broadband speeds of 10Mbps and above, compared to 0.8m one year ago. 385,200 customers are bow on the top tier of 20 Mbps and above. The new 50 Mbps tier is expected to be available across the network from the third quarter of 2009. 3,469,000 customers take a TV service and 4,099,000 a telephone line.

Monthly churn has fallen from 1.4% to 1.2% over the past 12 months while cable ARPU (Average Revenue Per Unit) increased to £42.30.