Virgin arrests churn, Sky back?

UK's Virgin Media added 4,900 net new customers for its services in the first quarter and said better customer retention and stabilising revenue per customer left it positioned for growth.

“Our first-quarter results represent another solid operational performance. In particular, churn continued to decline, reflecting the emphasis that we have placed on this area,” commented Chief Executive Neil Berkett. “Our results demonstrate that our customers are continuing to respond positively to our compelling consumer propositions. We remain focused on leading in next-generation broadband and redefining the TV experience through on-demand.”

Virgin Media reported 36,800 net new additions to its television service, 88,400 net new additions to its broadband offering and added 29,000 customers to the telephony service. These additions were mostly existing customers buying extra services.

Turnover for the period was £1.01bn ((E1.26bn) slightly down on the period in 07, operating loss fell to £4.6 million from £15.3 million in 2007.

It has also been reported that Virgin has recently held talks BSkyB over returning the Sky channels to the cable platform. BSkyB pulled its channels off the Virgin platform last year in a very public spat after the two sides failed to agree terms for a deal. Both groups have appointed new chief executives since that decision however, and Neil Berkett commented there had been more dialogue in the last two or three months than before.

Other operational highlights were:

* 204,300 total RGU net additions (Q1-07: 145,100)

* 4,900 on-net customer net additions (Q1-07: 46,900 net

disconnects)

* On-net churn declined to 1.2 per cent (Q1-07: 1.6 per cent); lowest since

2004(1)

* 88,400 on-net broadband net additions (Q1-07: 87,900)

* 29,000 on-net telephony net additions (Q1-07: 63,400 net

disconnects)

* 36,800 TV net additions (Q1-07: 36,100)

* 59,400 contract mobile net additions (Q1-07: 54,200)

* 127,600 prepay mobile net disconnections (Q1-07: 115,500

net disconnects)

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