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Cable Operator Virgin Media Nears 4.21 Million UK Broadband ISP Subscribers

Posted: 28th Jul, 2010 By: MarkJ
virgin media ukCable giant Virgin Media UK has reported its latest second quarter 2010 results, revealing that its broadband ISP subscriber base has grown from 4,179,700 in Q1 to 4,207,800 in Q2 of this year. The figure suggest that VM has had a poor quarter with consumer additions of only +28,100; significantly down on Q1's +76,200.

As per usual the bulk of new additions were to VM's strong Cable Modem (DOCSIS) based broadband platform, which accounts for 3,936,000 of the total (up +25,900 on Q1). By comparison the Virgin.net (Virgin National) ADSL2+ platform was home to 271,800 customers, a rise of just +2,200.

However Virgin Media are at least still growing and yesterday received high praise from Ofcom for the good performance put in by their cable broadband platform, which unsurprisingly managed to outperform the dated copper ADSL / ADSL2+ infrastructure run by BT in the UK. They are also expanding their network to cover 500,000 new build homes over the next few years.

Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media, said:

"A growing base of customers, combined with increased ARPU and improvements in Business and Mobile revenues, drove strong revenue growth and a double digit year-on-year percentage increase in OCF for the third successive quarter.

This performance was driven by our ability to offer households and businesses an increasingly differentiated range of digital services. Going forward, we'll continue to differentiate our propositions by proactively exploiting the advantages of our network and our mobile capability.

"Confidence in our long term ability to deliver strong free cash flow, along with the recent completion of our refinancing, enables us to announce today an initial Capital Return programme that complements our existing debt reduction schedule, without compromising our ability to make further strategic investments in the business."

VM notes that more than 650,000 customers now subscribe to its 20Mb or 50Mb cable broadband services (17% of the total cable broadband base), although the 50Mb product alone holds just 74,000 of that (up 28% on Q1).

Never the less VM's 50Mb service remains the fastest "widely available" broadband in the UK and they are still on track to launch a 100Mbps cable service in Q4-2010. In addition, trials of future 200Mbps downstream and 20Mbps upstream speeds continue to progress.

Cable revenue in the second quarter was up 6.4% at £656.4m reflecting 4.9% growth in cable ARPU to £45.88 and 1.8% growth in the cable customer base.
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