Arab Today, arab today virgin media revenues rise despite losing customers
Last Updated : GMT 11:24:12
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Virgin Media revenues rise despite losing customers

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Virgin Media revenues rise despite losing customers

London - Arabstoday

Britain\'s Virgin Media lost 36,000 cable customers in the second quarter, offsetting some of the benefit of an increase in average spend by those who remained. Virgin Media, which has Britain\'s fastest broadband connections and also sells TV and telephony services, increased sales by 2 per cent to £986 million (Dh5.9 billion), broadly in line with analysts\' forecasts. The company also announced a new, larger-than-expected £850 million share buyback and debt repayment programme and said it was on track to meet its debt target of three times operational cashflow over the next one to two years. Virgin Media shares were down 3 per cent in London. Article continues below \"We believe this weakness will prove temporary and VMED\'s pricing power in consumer cable will sustain strong FCF growth, with large share buybacks emphasising management\'s confidence,\" Goldman Sachs analyst Tim Boddy wrote. Chief Executive Neil Berkett said he was satisfied with the results in a seasonally weak quarter when the British economy grew just 0.2 per cent. Data hungry \"We are acquiring and growing data-savvy, data-hungry customers,\" he told Reuters in a telephone interview. Asked about the current quarter, he said: \"The confidence level of consumers has not really lifted.\" Virgin Media competes with telecoms provider BT and satellite broadcaster BSkyB to supply broadband, broadcast and on-demand TV and mobile and home telephony. By mid-2012 it aims to offer broadband speeds of 100 megabits per second — fast enough to download a music album in five seconds — to all homes on its network. Virgin Media\'s second-quarter operating cashflow rose 6 per cent to £392 million, beating expectations, and free cashflow rose 13 per cent to £123 million. Average revenue per cable user rose 3 per cent to £47.35 per month, while average monthly churn — the percentage of customers leaving — rose slightly to 1.4 per cent. Virgin Media struggled to grow revenues in some of its less core services. Mobile revenues fell by 3 per cent despite high customer growth because of regulatory changes to connection fees, while business sales were flat as lower voice and wholesale revenues set off the benefit of higher data revenues.

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