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Virgin Media post record revenue growth in Q2 results
Wednesday 28 July 2010 11:55:38 by John Hunt

Virgin Media have released their second quarter results for 2010 today which show record revenue growth since the company was formed from the merger of Telewest and NTL. Revenue grew by 7.1% to £964m. The average revenue per user for the cable business is also up to a record £45.88, a 4.9% increase. The company are quoting 9,100 total new customers in what is normally the weakest quarter of growth, compared with a 27,800 customer loss last year. The total number of broadband customers now sits just above 4.2 million following an addition of 28,100 customers, with 74,000 of these customers on 50meg broadband. 259,000 customers took advantage of Virgin's HD products this quarter pushing the installed customer base to 1.2 million.

"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."

Neil Berkett, (CEO) Virgin Media

No further details have been released with regards to the 100meg broadband product as yet other than this is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Comments

Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Good!!! I believe Virgin have quite a bit of debt so this is good news and that things are picking up, it will hopefully mean they'll ramp up expansion of the network in more urban areas as well as these rural trials.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"No further details have been released with regards to the 100meg broadband product as yet other than this is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2010."

Id bet thats going to be the first of their products with significant improved upload speeds to continue to compete against FTTC. Nice to see they are slowly growing after the mass losses installing and rolling out years ago, hopefully they can turn good profits soon also.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
so HDTV is nearly 4 times as attractive to customers as 50M broadband, with the latter at 3.1% of their broadband users.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Wait until 100Mbps appears... even less will want that.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
perhaps all the 50M users will move to 100M :-)
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
Posted by herdwick about 1 hour ago
perhaps all the 50M users will move to 100M :-)

No chance of that :) There will be M20/L50/XXL100
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
Or could be like this: S 10mb M 20mb L 50mb XXL 100mb
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
Doubt they will bump all 20Mb users up to 50Mb, as the 20Mb folk only have DOCSIS2.0 modems, you need a 2.0 modem to run the 50Mb service.

Can't imagine they would upgrade everyones modems free of charge and bump them up.

I think a large volume of 50Mb folk will upgrade to 100Mb as the folk on 50Mb willbe the people who want the fastest available, and want to show off, so a high % will upgrade just to 'stay with the times'.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
typo... need a 3.0 modem to run 50Mb :)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"so HDTV is nearly 4 times as attractive to customers as 50M broadband, with the latter at 3.1% of their broadband users."

Could say similar for BT with BT Vision packages which only include 8Mb in package form and more going for that and 8Mb rather than their 20Mb and 40Mb products. There are, still more people on UPTO 8Mb and TV+8Mb broadband bundles than 20Mb and 40Mb products is there not?
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
as far as I know, all tiers getting upload speed bost to 1:10 ratio. 100mbit be new tier. 50mbit to get STM when 100mbit launched.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"50mbit to get STM when 100mbit launched." Really? Oh that makes me smile, I remember when 50 got launched and so many people (not on here) made a point it wouldn't be STM'd.... I knew it would happen at some point
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
VM always sound so cheerful and upbeat when announcing results but how does losses increasing from £55m to £69m make you happy?

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10799069

(Half way down).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ what the hell is this spam, IDIOT!
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Ah but is it spam? A discussion about VM's finances and someone posts a link to a loan company and warns that debts can affect your life for a long time.

:)
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
Ahh... are we thinking another debt for equity swap AndrueC?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Well - something's got to give. Massive expansion programme. Debt restructuring. Increasing losses.

I'm no account (and I'll fight anyone that says I am, lol) but there's not many options left.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
(accountant that was supposed to be).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
stop being such a banker ;)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
They still owe 6billion and the interest on that makes up a fair whack of their losses I believe
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
We should only hope the situation for VM gets better because if they go, so does any real competition to BT, and BT have mostly only been FTTC-ing areas that VM cover IIRC.

Also wasn't it NTL:Telewest that did the mass expansion, not VM?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Yeah I don't believe VM did much apart from snap them up and hibernate.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@otester:Yes. Then they went bust and out of the ashes came VM. Now VM looks set to attempt another expansion while still dragging the debts of NTL behind it.

I must have a word with my broker and get me some of that action.

Not.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
(addendum)I really should drink my morning cuppa before posting :)

NTL didn't go bust - it seems they were beginning to pull themselves out of the swamp and have just done a bit of renaming. Still - if I had a broker I wouldn't want them sniffing around VM.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
100M will be a brand new tier.

There are no downstream upgrades planned, there are only upstream upgrades to bring all tiers to a 10:1 ratio downstream:upstream. Kindly label your guessing as such adslmax instead of implying you've some knowledge.

Nothing has been announced or considered regarding putting STM on 50Mbit. It is likely to continue to be controlled by application of FUP.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@AndrueC

I know VM has quite a lot of analog areas that it still hasn't upgraded, so wouldn't it be a simple case of fibre-ing those cabinets to extend the coverage?

@Dixinormous

It's their flagship product, enforcing the FUP for the first time could do immense damage to their 50Mb customer base as many if not all are heavy downloaders.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"It's their flagship product, enforcing the FUP for the first time could do immense damage to their 50Mb customer base as many if not all are heavy downloaders."

Hardly basically every ISP in the land has a FUP, you can be sure BT on their option 2 "so called unlimited" package will be enforcing it so even if Virgin do or plan to it wouldnt be no better or worse thatn others. Infact i bet their FUP will be far more generous than option 2 FTTC (thats already throttled for p2p and is rumoured to be 100gig before they slap your wrists).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
What i find strange is that for SOME areas BT are being allowed government and local authority funds to roll out FTTC.... Maybe Virgin should be paid for atleast some of the areas that are already cabled which we all know left Telewest and brands since in debt. If ofcom are so interested in competition and fairness maybe they should treat providers equally.... either allow them government funding or not.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
When it comes to fibre services to home users in this country the telewest/NTL/Virgin system has done a heck of alot more than BT CURRENTLY have. Yet as a company they have had to face the debts that go with such a rollout. Why are BT and any other company that wants to bring us all fibre not being treated equally? We have heard of several areas using BT based FTTC getting government grants and stories of areas having to pay BT money to get their area fibre'd up, hardly fair!
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
They already are enforcing it otester.

I doubt they care that much about what damage it might do on their 'flagship' product - people paying 28 quid + phone line doesn't make a profit if they're doing say a TB a month or more, and it's not really a strong base for a complaint 'My ISP told me to move my usage to offpeak periods, I only did 20 Blurays this month instead of my usual 30 too!'
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
No-one stops Virgin from asking for public money to deploy *further*.

Post-dated subsidy won't happen. They rolled out to almost universally urban areas where they thought they could make a profit based on ridiculously over-optimistic takeup projections based on the USA - they were wrong.

They then overpaid massively for assets at the height of the .com boom. Their pain is entirely self-inflicted.

Nothing wrong with subsidy to anyone to provision higher speeds to underserved areas though.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"When it comes to fibre services to home users in this country the telewest/NTL/Virgin system has done a heck of alot more than BT CURRENTLY have." Virgin is doing FTTH? Did I miss something?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Re public funds, I understand that these are only offered after a tendering exercise, presumably VM would have had the option of bidding too? So not really an issue of them being treated unfairly.

Don't forget the cable companies had a local monopoly granted by the government during their build phase to help them build a viable business, so they've already had the benefit of govt. support in return for their original licence.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Neither are BT really - I don't care one hoot about trials or Ebbsfleet's greenfield deployment. They should be deploying fibre to London's homes, along with other major urban conurbations, and skipping FTTC entirely reserving it for areas where FTTP isn't an option.

I'll give BT some kudos when all greenfield is FTTP and brownfield upgrades are apace.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Nothing wrong with subsidy to anyone to provision higher speeds to underserved areas though."

Why did BT get subsidy for FTTC in Iwade then??
Parts of Iwade can have Virgin Media?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote""When it comes to fibre services to home users in this country the telewest/NTL/Virgin system has done a heck of alot more than BT CURRENTLY have." Virgin is doing FTTH? Did I miss something? "

BT are not doing FTTH (its actually FTTP) its a trial only and if you want to go down that road, why dont sky get more authority funding for LLU and their fibre trials?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Re public funds, I understand that these are only offered after a tendering exercise, presumably VM would have had the option of bidding too? So not really an issue of them being treated unfairly."

Yes it is Virgin supply part of Iwade already but BT got funding to put FTTC there.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Neither are BT really - I don't care one hoot about trials or Ebbsfleet's greenfield deployment. They should be deploying fibre to London's homes, along with other major urban conurbations, and skipping FTTC entirely reserving it for areas where FTTP isn't an option."

Well said there dixi
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
So VM would have been able to bid for funding in Iwade to extend its reach. NB Easy to check, public procurement has to be done openly.

Re FTTP, were either of you proposing to fund this? The BSG estimated £25-£30bn to deploy FTTP across the UK, where is the business case for this? Lots of people want what they can't pay for - I'll be joining the queue for an Aston Martin if one is going free.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quoute"So VM would have been able to bid for funding in Iwade to extend its reach. NB Easy to check, public procurement has to be done openly."

What happened in Iwade wasnt even open to bids.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Re FTTP, were either of you proposing to fund this?"

Some people are already having to fund FTTC.
I refuse to talk any estimate figure they cant be proved to be bang on, over or under.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
And the difference between FTTH and FTTP is? You said Virgin have done more to provide fibre services to the home, where? I've yet to see it, the fact that BT have a few trials of FTTP running surely means they've already done more than Virgin even just with that trial?

I'll ask again as you totally ignored my question and turned it into another question, where is the Virgin Fibre to the Home deployment you say they've done more than anyone else?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
"Some people are already having to fund FTTC."

If they are in areas that none of the service providers believe to be uneconomic, then clearly someone is going to have to fund the shortfall - you wouldn't expect the shareholders of the service providers to subsidise them surely?

Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
" refuse to talk any estimate figure they can't be proved to be bang on, over or under"

What is wrong with the BSG work, given a wide range of stakeholders were involved, difficult to accuse them of bias?

Obviously ANY figure relating to a project that has not been undertaken will be an estimate. On that basis, you'd only accept a figure after the work has been done, which is not going to happen any time soon for UK-wide FTTP.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago

Plenty of people are quick to criticise companies for not deploying, demand FTTP now (ideally for free). Surprising none are themselves in a position to pay for the deployment, want something for nothing.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"You said Virgin have done more to provide fibre services to the home, where?"

I actually said quite clearly
"When it comes to fibre services to HOME USERS in this country the telewest/NTL/Virgin system has done a heck of alot more than BT CURRENTLY have.

I said nothing about them doing FTTH, and that statement is accurate, more homes are connected via a fibre based service from virgin than from BT.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote""Some people are already having to fund FTTC."

If they are in areas that none of the service providers believe to be uneconomic, then clearly someone is going to have to fund the shortfall - you wouldn't expect the shareholders of the service providers to subsidise them surely?"

As i said Virgin cover part of Iwade, so answer why BT got funds! To RE-cover that area?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Amazing neither of you are able to pay attention or actually read what i said............. AGAIN!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Why have we not heard about the likes of Sky, O2, Virgin and numerous others getting government funds of any description?

Its a simple question please answer if you want to discuss profits, funding, revenue etc etc.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
So presumably you're aware of Thales getting considerable public funding to provide FTTC in South Yorkshire (an area also cover by Openreach, not sure about VM)?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
And what about the fibre deployed in Wales with public funds - Lightspeed?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Any further explanation about why estimates of the cost of deploying FTTP nationally are not acceptable?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
fibre services to home... how many ways can you read that... take out the word services (not required) then and what does that leave you with. fibre to home.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
I clearly wrote "home users" and "fibre services", nowhere did i previously mention FTTH........ learn to read
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Any further explanation about why estimates of the cost of deploying FTTP nationally are not acceptable?"

Buy a damned dictionary and look up estimate, even you should be able to manage that
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Oh and i see as is typical another load of blub blub blub but cant give an example of any company i mentioned which BT like in size getting government funds.
WHAT A SHOCKER the same two users unable to answer a simple question but want to argue.... laurel and hardy only with less brains and unable to read
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Not going to bother with you 2 clowns any further, point proven both thicker than a pork sausage and nowhere near as savoury.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Gratuitous derogatory comments belong on the playground, won't dignify with a response.

Quote "cant give an example of any company i mentioned which BT like in size getting government funds". Suggest you take a nonsecond or two to find out a bit more about Thales before posting ill informed comments....
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Still interested to know why you deem well respected estimates of the cost of deploying FTTP nationally unacceptable. I suspect the people that pulled the BSG report together are rather better informed on the subject, but not helpful if it does not support your opinion?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
To save people tim ein looking up Thales Group (http://www.thalesgroup.com/AboutUs.aspx if you're interested), quote

"With operations in 50 countries and 68,000 employees, Thales is a world leader in mission-critical information systems for defence and security, aerospace and transportation."

Surely counts as comparable in scale to BT?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
fibre services to HOME USERS - Where?
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
'Why have we not heard about the likes of Sky, O2, Virgin and numerous others getting government funds of any description?'

Because some are mainly ISPs, not network providers and any goverment funds have to go to projects that gives customers a choice of ISPs.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"'Why have we not heard about the likes of Sky, O2, Virgin and numerous others getting government funds of any description?'

Because some are mainly ISPs, not network providers and any goverment funds have to go to projects that gives customers a choice of ISPs."

Using that logic all this talk about bidding for areas is nonsense then, and Virgin will never get funds because they dont re-sell their services to other ISPs.... So much for the so called bidding process.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Quote "So much for the so called bidding process."

Suggest you take a look at the public records covering the bidding processes - eg the EU judgments confirming public funds can be awarded without it constituting illegal state aid.

Note you've ignored my example of Thales, a much bigger company than VM, in receipt of funds to build network in South Yorkshire.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Obviously the process is not perfect - eg not sure there was a public process before Swindon Council took a stake in a local wi-fi provider in return for it deployiong wi-fi across the town, ignoring the existing commercial wi-fi provision.

That looked suspiciously like state aid, although not sure anyone compained to EU, so don't think it has been vetted.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
As i said clown im not bothering with you or your inability to read

Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
I think this means you have no effective way of answering the question, hence the abuse.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Thats right even abuse gets boring, and thats exactly what you have become. JOG ON!
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
So various examples given of different organisations of a range of sizes getting funding, not sure what the perceived issue was that was specific to BT, however the evidence is there to show that no one company is being favoured.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
PS Good to see detail from another user showing that there was a bidding process in Iwade too - see http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/general/t/3884157-re-how-fast-is-your-bt-based-fttc.html

Sorry but does rather destroy the conspiracy theory raised by some I'm afraid.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
YAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/broadband/7878803/Rural-broadband-a-new-model-for-connecting-the-countryside.html

" That meant they could apply for a grant of up to £50,000 from a fund that Kent County Council had for community projects, and then get a contract put out to tender."

"Initially, however, no options came in within budget, although satellite-based wireless broadband was a plausible option. "

If Virgin don't bid, they won't win.
Posted by btodd over 6 years ago
Looking at a map Iwade does not seem to be in the countryside? Reading the forum threads it does not look like there was a bidding process. Definately not in the way it should happen. New_londoner, really does not seem to read anything CB types looking at the various news stories here.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
"The BSG estimated £25-£30bn to deploy FTTP across the UK, where is the business case for this?"

It's an infrastructure project which the taxpayer is going to have to pay for as the market has failed and continues to fail.

Likewise, there was probably no business case for tarmaced roads at the time, no business case for the NHS, rubbish collection ... etc. just other things we take for granted which are essential.

We won't get anywhere until broadband is regarded as an essential utility, though we do seem to be getting there slowly (in terms of the mindset, not the solution)
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