Virgin Media is celebrating its fifth birthday today and is doing so in style by announcing its first ever annual profit of £76 million. Virgin Media was created in 2006 following the consolidation of numerous regional operators and is the country’s only remaining cable TV company.
However profit of just £76m on revenue of almost £4 billion is not an ideal situation, but Virgin Media’s CEO, Neil Berkett, believes the company has turned a corner and “it will be profit from here on in.”
The company’s ability to post its first annual profit was boosted by the strong growth in the company’s TiVo service and its broadband offerings. In terms of TiVo, which was launched commercially in the middle of 2011, the company now has almost half a million users, adding 273,000 new customers in the quarter to the end of December alone.
However, nearly all of the new TiVo users came from Virgin Media’s existing customer base and in total cable TV subscribers declined by 15,700 during 2011 which doesn’t compare well with a growth of 84,000 the previous year. Pay- TV customers did however grow in 2011, up 137,000 compared to this time last year.
Virgin also released figures regarding the TV watching habits of its customers, revealing that views of TV on Demand, Virgin Media’s catch-up services, exceeded 1bn for the first time, with a 14 per cent rise compared to 2010.
Looking at Virgin Media’s broadband offering, it added 30,000 net customers in the last quarter and has added 91,800 customers in total in 2011. Virgin Media now has 4.85m broadband customers in the UK.
Nearly half of its new broadband customers opted to take the company’s superfast broadband of 30Mbps or above, meaning that in total superfast customers are up 579,000 compared to the same time last year.