British cableco Virgin Media has reported its fastest customer growth rate ever in the first quarter of 2010, on the back of strong demand for broadband and pay-TV services. Virgin Media added 232,300 ‘net product additions’ in the three months ended 31 March 2010, ending the period with 3.73 million television subscribers, 3.91million broadband cable subscribers and 1.03 million contract mobile customers. Average revenue per cable user climbed 5.3% to GBP45.01 (US69.04) a month, also a record. Customers taking all four services of pay-TV, broadband, fixed or mobile telephony stood at 11% at the end of March, while the figure for those taking any three of the services was up at 61.9% of the base. Monthly churn rate was held at a record low of 1.1%.
The stronger operating performance helped Virgin to post a first-quarter revenue up 2.9% to GBP963 million. Operating income increased to GBP76 million from GBP14 million. The second successive quarter of operating cash flow growth – a measure close to EBITDA – saw a 14.1% revenue rise to GBP356 million. Net losses for the period were GBP160.4 million, slightly up on the GBP154 million reported in 1Q 2009.