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Virgin Media sees strong TiVo growth

UK cable operator Virgin Media added 242,000 customer to its TiVo advanced TV service in the first quarter, taking its total to 677,100. The figures contributed to a boost in Virgin Media’s overall pay TV base of 50,600.

Virgin Media now has 840,000 customers taking broadband speeds of 30Mbps or more, up 146,000 in the course of the first quarter. The company completed the rollout of its 100Mbps service in March, ahead of schedule.

Virgin Media added 21,200 net cable customers in the first quarter. Virgin Media said that its quad-play penetration now stood at 15%. Cable ARPU was up 1.7% at £46.95.

Revenue grew by 2.4% to £1.006 billion (EUR1.23 billion), crossing the £1 billion threshold in the first quarter for the first time.  Free cash flow fell from £70 million to £87 million, which the company said was due to the phasing of expenditure ahead of the London Olympics. Net profit was up from £4 million to £7 million.

CEO Neil Berkett said: “In the first quarter of 2012, we’ve made steady progress against our strategy. Demand for superfast broadband and TiVo, the UK’s first mass-market connected TV service, continued to gather momentum. We once again demonstrated the unique power of our network by starting to double the broadband speeds of over four million customers. We have seen an increase in ARPU and greater customer loyalty with our best subscriber retention for two years and this has reinforced our confidence that people increasingly appreciate the value of a genuinely next generation digital experience.  In addition, a growing base of mobile contract subscribers together with strong revenues in Virgin Media Business showed again that we have multiple sources of revenue growth. Over the remainder of 2012, we expect continued steady progress across the company which, combined with the underlying resilience of our business model, will translate into strong cash flow and shareholder returns.’