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Virgin builds subscriber base

Revenue grew 7% to $1.5 billion

LONDON — Virgin Media, the Nasdaq-quoted U.K. cable outfit, has announced its most successful second quarter results since the company was created from the merger of NTL and Telewest more than four years ago.

CEO Neil Berkett hailed the perf as a “milestone.” Virgin Media added a net total of 9,100 households to its cable TV biz in the three months to the end of June.

It is the first time the firm has boosted the number of subscribers in the second quarter, traditionally a tough time for pay TV providers.

A year ago, Virgin recorded a net loss of 27,800 customers for the same period.

The popularity of HD channels and high-speed broadband was responsible for Virgin’s growing confidence, Berkett indicated.

He said: “This performance was driven by our ability to offer households and businesses an increasingly differentiated range of digital services.

“Going forward, we’ll continue to differentiate our propositions by proactively exploiting the advantages of our network and our mobile capability.”

Virgin Media, the only U.K. paybox apart from BSkyB to air premium webs Sky Sports 1 and 2 in HD, said it had persuaded an extra 259,000 customers to fork out for HD.

Soon it would provide 26 HD channels, compared with just one a year ago.

Revenue grew 7.1 % to £964 million ($1.5 billion), while churn was low at 1.3%.

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