May 08, 2008

Virgin first quarter results

Headlines (with year-on-year comparisons) :
  • Continued customer and RGU growth
  • 204,300 total RGU net additions (Q1-07: 145,100)
  • 4,900 on-net customer net additions (Q1-07: 46,900 net disconnects)
  • On-net churn declined to 1.2% (Q1-07: 1.6%); lowest since 2004
  • 88,400 on-net broadband net additions (Q1-07: 87,900)
  • 29,000 on-net telephony net additions (Q1-07: 63,400 net disconnects)
  • 36,800 TV net additions (Q1-07: 36,100)
  • Record triple-play penetration of 51.3% (Q1-07: 42.9%)
  • Operating loss of GBP 5m (Q1-07: GBP 15m)

More details on the cable TV side of the business from the official press release:

Total TV net additions were 36,800 in the quarter (Q4-07: 61,100; Q1-07: 36,100). As anticipated, this was lower than in the previous quarter partly due to alterations to acquisition offers in order to emphasize higher priced TV tiers.

1.6m of our TV customers are now using our VOD service on a monthly basis, representing a reach of 48%. Average views per user per month in the quarter were 24 compared to 23 in the previous quarter and 11 a year ago. Average monthly views were 36m in the quarter, up 10% on the previous quarter and up 155% on the same quarter last year.

In April 2008, we launched the BBC's iPlayer service on our VOD platform offering hundreds of hours of BBC catch-up content. Developments like this give VOD a new impetus and help establish on-demand as a genuinely mainstream TV service.

During the quarter, we added a record 101,800 V+ DVR subscribers to reach an installed base of 364,200. This represents a penetration level of just 11% of our digital subscribers and so the growth opportunity remains strong. In addition, based on our experience, DVR subscribers and VOD users are less likely to churn.

The mix of TV subscribers improved during the quarter, with growth in the percentage of subscribers on our top basic tier. We believe that this growth continued to be positively affected by increased VOD content and usage and the addition of the Setanta Sports channels into our top basic tier.

And on a positive note, according to Reuters today Berkett has revealed that Sky and VM are in serious discussions about the return of the Sky basics to Virgin Media


Anonymous said...

Oh dear. Those results are quite shocking. No wonder they're not investing in HD.

Nialli said...

I don't agree. They continue an improvement that's been pretty impressive over the last year since the Sky debacle. You have to appreciate just how bad NTL/Telewest's financial performance was to realise that things have moved on and are better. If TV customers were declining and churn increasing, I'd be concerned. What's fallen, primarily due to retention deals, is revenue per customer, and one way to increase that (as Sky has done) is to offer more high-end services. One of those will be the much lauded 50mb Broadband, but another could well be a better HD offering.

Hermes said...

I agree - the results look good to me !!