Virgin Mobile shows rivals clean pair of heels

6 Nov 2003

UK mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile yesterday reported its best ever third quarter performance, adding 269,000 new customers in the three months to the end of September 2003 – more than double the growth achieved by rival operator Orange UK. A 50:50 joint venture between German operator T-Mobile and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Virgin Mobile now has a total customer base of 3.14 million, equal to just over 6% of the UK cellular market. Turnover for the quarter reached GBP112.6 million, a rise of just over 10% on the corresponding period of 2002, whilst for the first nine months of the year revenues, EBITDA and operating profit reached GBP309 million, GBP67 million and GBP59 million respectively. Virgin’s average revenue per user (ARPU) for the twelve months to the end of September was GBP135. In the first six months of 2003 Virgin claimed to have added more subscribers than the UK’s five other operators – Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile and 3 – put together. The company has attributed the success to its GBP0.03 text tariff and its lower denomination GBP5 airtime voucher.

United Kingdom