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Virgin Media UK Surges to 4.97M Broadband Subscribers After Ireland Boost

Friday, May 8th, 2015 (7:52 am) - Score 3,213

Cable operator Virgin Media (Liberty Global) has shot up from having a total of 4,625,800 broadband subscribers at the end of last year to 4,969,700 at the end Q1 2015, although this is predominantly due to a move that combines the operator’s UK results with that of UPC Ireland (Sky does something similar).

As usual the above total reflects 4,929,500 cable broadband subscribers (EuroDOCSIS / DOCSIS3). On top of that we’ve added another +40,200 to represent Virgin Media’s remaining ADSL (Virgin.net / Virgin National) base, many of which have just experienced a difficult migration to TalkTalk (here).

Virgin’s UPC Ireland Position

The financial figures contained in this release are prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. During the first quarter of 2015, Liberty Global undertook various financing transactions in connection with certain internal reorganisations of its broadband and wireless communications businesses in Europe, including the intragroup transfer of a controlling interest in UPC Broadband Ireland Ltd. (“UPC Ireland”) from UPC Holding B.V. (the “UPC Ireland Transfer”) to our company. We have accounted for this common control transfer at carryover basis and the financial information and operating statistics presented herein have been retrospectively revised to give effect to this transaction for all periods presented.”

The combination with UPC Ireland also means that Virgin’s Two-Way Homes Passed figure (i.e. homes on those sections of Virgin’s cable network that are technologically capable of providing two-way services, including video, Internet and telephony) has jumped from 12,598,400 at the end of 2014 to 13,389,600.

We expect the above footprint figure to increase as Virgin gets to work expanding their network to reach 17 million UK premises (60% of the UK) by 2020 (here). The operator similarly confirmed, “We expect to focus on demand driven new build in the second half of the year, supported by marketing initiatives in select areas.”

Elsewhere Virgin Media reported that 36% of their 4.9 million cable Internet subscribers were taking speeds of 100Mbps or higher, which is up from 28% at the end of 2014 when only the UK was being considered.

On the financial front, Virgin’s monthly Average Revenue Per Customer Relationship (ARPCR) fell slightly from £49.36 at the end of 2014 to £48.73 now, while their total revenue stood at £1,129.8m (up from £1,115.6m at the same time last year) and operating income was £97.4m. It’s also worth noting that Virgin’s total net third-party debt currently stands at £9,651.8m and they had total capital expenditures of £153.1m.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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