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Virgin Media increases sub base and ARPU

UK cable operator Virgin Media increased ARPU by 5.8% during the fourth quarter, as it recorded 56,900 new digital TV subs and 112,700 new V Plus DVR customers.

The operator reported a total of 228,900 product net additions during the quarter. Gross cable customer additions during the quarter were up 3.1% to 198,600, leaving the operator with 4.77m cable subs at the end of December. Cable ARPU was up 5.8% to £44.81 (€51) due to price rises, tier mix improvement and growth in products per customer. Cable revenue was up 6.1% to £640.1m.

Total TV net additions were 34,200 and the operator saw an increase in VOD transactions. Average views per user per month were 35 compared to 30 a year earlier. Average monthly VOD views were up 41% to 74 million. Twenty four per cent of customers subscribed to Virgin’s HD DVR service at the end of December.

The operator added 63,600 new cable broadband subscribers, leaving it with a total of 3.8 million at the end of the year. The number of subscribers taking the top two broadband tiers (20Mbps and 50Mbps) increased by 45% to 560,000. Ninety eight per cent of broadband subs took a 10Mbps or higher service as the operator continued to upgrade its 2Mbps subscribers to 10Mbps.

Virgin Media reported fourth quarter revenue of £979.5m, up from £948.5m a year earlier. Operating income was up to £63.6m from £5.1m.