Virgin Media shrugs off Brexit blues

Virgin Media M_R_LOGO_RED_RGB_REGLiberty Global-owned Virgin Media shrugged off the Brexit effect in the second quarter by adding 31,000 new customers, including 24,000 new organic customers, against a loss of 8,000 for the prior year.

Organic revenue-generating unit additions increased to 50,000, compared with a gain of only 1,000 for the same period last year. Overall, UK RGU additions of 66,000 represented the company’s best Q2 performance in this market since 2008.

Sales of advanced video services TiVo in the UK and Horizon in Ireland numbered 67,000 in the quarter. Virgin Media this month initiated the upgrade of its TiVo user interface. The company said that a re-launch of its TV bundles and its previously announced new set-top box – which will be based on the new pan-European EON project – will follow “towards the end of the year”.

Virgin Media posted revenues of £1.197 billion (€1.422 billion) for the second quarter, up 3%. Operating income declined by 24% to £79 million, attributed to increases in related-party fees and allocations, increases in depreciation and amortization, and increases in impairment and other charges.

“In late June, British voters decided to leave the EU. Fortunately, the debt on our balance sheet remains hedged against currency and interest rate exposures, while our average tenor currently stands at seven years. As a side note, we have not seen a slowdown of demand in the UK, sales are actually up year-over-year,” said Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries.

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