February 16, 2016

Virgin Media annual profits rise 38%

Wow. Didn't see that coming.
Virgin Media has reported a leap in underlying earnings to £377.5m in 2015, up from £274.1m in 2014, as a jump in broadband customer numbers offset high numbers of TV subscribers quitting following those hugely unpopular price rises and the ill-timed expiration of "loyalty" bonuses.
Virgin Media’s results showed its best broadband performance for more than five years, with 69,000 UK internet customers added on a net basis in the final three months of 2015 – the highest since the beginning of 2010. Fixed-line telephone customer numbers rose strongly, up 56,000 in the fourth quarter, and by 94,000 for the whole year, helping the group notch up a record 99,000 additional customers overall in the UK in 2015.
It's good to see that people voted with their wallets and the painful TV prices hit hard with only 900 TV subscribers added during the fourth quarter – a fraction of the 21,500 who joined in the same quarter a year earlier. It would be interesting to see how many downgraded their bundles as a result (which is what I did) but sadly VM don't report that. They do admitted it had seen “elevated TV churn” after raising the price of its TV XL package by £3 in September – a move it made to recoup some of the increased costs of sports rights, which include live Premier League football. The numbers of TV customers quitting stabilised in the fourth quarter of last year, but I expect this month's subsequent price increase will hit Q1 2016 numbers even harder - I've had lots of feedback on that one from folk who saw that as just too much to stomach.


Jez24 said...

If you actually look at the cost of the XL package and see what you get compared to freeview, it is very good value. I accept the overall cost of a three service buddle is higher than I would like, but I think you have to accept the XL package is a fair deal.

Nialli said...

Virgin Media's pricing is all over the place in my experience.
For example, last week I rang to reduce my bundle (I just can't justify £139 a month) and came away quite happy having dropped it by £25 thanks to reducing both broadband and phone from levels I'd never asked for. I also asked how much I could save by removing Sky Sports and was told £28, and I could do it at any time. I rang back this week to cancel Sky Sports and was told it would only save me £7, which is the same as one match a month on NowTV. Not worth doing.
No doubt if I ring again I will get some other story. What nobody told me on either call was that I'm locked in for another twelve months - that was only made clear when the paperwork came through yesterday.
It's pleasing to see that VM's subscriber numbers were hit quite hard by customers leaving over the September price rise and emotions ran even higher with the February one. I expect the next numbers for Q1 2016 to make more sobering reading for Mr Mockridge after the giddy highs of Q4 2015.

Jez24 said...

I have notice the 12 month lock in, over the last few years. As you say, any kind of adjustment to your package seems to come with a 12 month contract attached. Seems OTT when no hard wear is involved.

Dannysat said...

My main concern is the 2-3 price hikes a year going hand in hand with an apparent drop in HD quality.

Is it just my viewing eyes or are all the main providers pulling back on the HD quality of their on demand services and in some cases live broadcasts to perhaps get ready for 4k?

Maybe they have to lower the HD quality to provide more signal width for 4K or simply to make the contrast more marked when it launches. Either way I can't help feeling I am paying for something not yet available.

Chris said...

I recently looked on the sky website so see how much our equivalent package would cost and it's significantly more, and their broadband maxes out at 40mb as opposed to 200mb.

There's no comparison whatsoever. Even if they increased it another £15-20 a month it would still be better value for our package.

Unknown said...

I agree totally with Chris Till. The other providers are way more expensive than Virgin for what we get .

Unknown said...

Apologies for this irrelevant comment on this specific topic but wanted to spread the news that Virgin media are now dishing out the superhub 3 for its broadband. i upgraded to the 200mbps and was expecting the superhub 2AC but got the 3 instead.

this link tells you it's specs


it's awesome!!!

Unknown said...

Its going to look nice with my black tv, black xbox one, black tivo, surrond sound amp and asus router..

Unknown said...

How can they make more money my providing a rubbish service. I've been left for 3 days without wifi and the updates just keep delaying the 'expect repair by time.

Unknown said...

Broadband hasn't worked in my house for 3 days. In fact, the service is so bad that it beaks down more than it actually works. I hate Virgin . Cancelling my account and making sure everyone I know will know this. Posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter , you name it.