Virgin Media ARPU at record level

By Julian Clover

Virgin Media’s strategy of focussing on its higher value customers has paid off as the cablenet reported customer spending had delivered a record ARPU (Average Revenue per Unit) of £43.27 (€50.98) per month.

The reverse side is that Virgin has been prepared to discard its less profitable customers, so-called ‘data cleansing’ activities and disconnections, reducing the number of customers by 26,200 on the quarter to 4,726,100.

The number of TV customers increased by 20,400 on the quarter to 3.67 million. Taking into account the fact that Virgin only reaches around half of the population; the total is about a third lower than the 9.442 million reported by Sky last week.

Favourable terms for triple play services grew the number of customers taking TV, telephony and broadband internet to a record 58%. Sales of mobile telephony, up 60% year-on-year, mean that 450,000 customers are now on the quad play. Churn stands at 1.3% per month.

VOD usage continues to climb; the cablenet averaged 62 million views per month in the second quarter, watch by 55% of digital TV subscribers. An additional 56,600 V+ DVR subscribers were added on the quarter to reach 668,500 and representing 19% of digital subscribers. The percentage can be expected to grow further with the launch of six HD services in the next few weeks.

Revenues of £936 million were down on the £940 million recorded in the second quarter of 2008, but losses narrowed to £49 million from the £449 million of 12 months previous.
The company confirmed it was considering a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange.