Virgin Media, the recently acquired UK cableco, was the principal driver of cash growth, contributing $401 million for the period from 8-30 June 2013 alone. For the 12 month period to 30 June 2012, Virgin added 169,000 RGUs to lead to a total of 12.2 million and added 67,000 customers to bring the total customer base to 4.9 million. For the three and six months ended 30 June 2013, Virgin reported revenue of £1.027 billion and £2.069 billion, respectively, compared with the same figure and £2.033 billion, respectively, for the corresponding periods a year earlier.
At the heart of the solid improvements was a healthy TV business for which the TiVo business line, backed by some aggressive marketing, grew 75% year-on-year to 1.7 million or 44% of the whole TV base. At the end of 30 June 2013 pay-TV customers represented 88% of the TV base, up 5,000 in Q2, and triple-play penetration neared 66%, with RGUs per customer at 2.51x.
Commenting on the quarterly results, Liberty Global’s president and CEO, Mike Fries, said: “The highlight of our second quarter was the successful acquisition of Virgin Media. This transaction marks an important milestone in our efforts to consolidate what remains a very fragmented European cable market. Virgin Media significantly enhances both the scale of our business and our levered equity growth strategy. We are making significant progress integrating Virgin Media into our European operations. The core senior management team has been assembled, led by pay-TV veteran Tom Mockridge, who assumed the CEO role upon closing. Following a detailed review of our synergy targets and, while it’s still early days, we are pleased to report that synergies are expected to be significantly higher than our original estimates.”