Virgin Media lost 36,000 customers in the three months to the end of June, in part because thousands of students dropped their low-priced TV and broadband subscriptions for the summer holidays.
The Virgin Media chief executive, Neil Berkett, downplayed the significance of the customer losses – 21,200 of whom left Virgin Media's TV service – which were significantly worse than most analysts had forecast.
"We are very satisfied with the quarter," he said. "It proves our strategy of targeting the mass-market, digitally-aware, data-hungry consumers is working very well."
The company pointed out that more than 90% of the customers who left were "lower-value single- and dual-play [those taking two services from Virgin] customers" with 29% taking just a single service.
"We deliver superior growth, we do not chase unprofitable business," said Berkett. "It is not in our psyche."
Despite the customer losses the company reported an investor-pleasing 3.2% year-on-year increase in average revenue per user – a key metric watched closely by analysts – to £47.35 as Virgin Media boosted takeup of its higher-
The company said that it has installed 50,000 of its new TiVo personal video recorder set-top boxes, and has another 25,000 customers awaiting installation. Virgin Media believes its TiVo PVR is more technologically advanced than rival products such as BSkyB's Sky+ box.