Publications

Format: Sep 2018
sort ascending Sector(s) Date
Virtual goods and competition law

Publishers are committing no offence by using Amazon as their agent and insisting on a high price for their e-books. Owners are entitled to set their own price and remunerate retailers with a standard percentage commission

On the other hand, retailers such as Amazon that demand publishers do not sell their e-books through other channels at lower prices may well run into legal trouble

Separately, the recent assessment of the legality of using a Greek decoder card to view Premier League football in an English pub will eventually mean that retailers and rights owners will be unable to block the purchase of virtual goods in one EU country for use in another. Publishers may move towards setting single prices for the whole of the EU

Music and Radio, TV, Media 7 March 2011
Virgin Radio: a pig in a poke

Scottish Media Group’s decision to sell its Virgin Radio business has been prompted by the need to pay down group debt and the management’s decision to refocus on the turnaround of its ITV service. This report outlines our views on the management pronouncements made on the success and performance of Virgin Radio and, therefore, its value to investors. We consider that management has exaggerated the potential value of this asset to investors

 

 

 

  • SMG
Media, Music and Radio 7 May 2007
Virgin Radio – new owner, new name, new beginning

After a protracted offer period, Scottish Media Group has finally sold its national commercial radio business ‘Virgin Radio’ to Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited for £53.2 million cash. The sale does not include the licence to continue using the brand name from the Virgin Group, so the station will be re-branded and re-launched by its new owner in autumn 2008. This report argues that, although the value of Virgin Radio’s main AM analogue platform is diminishing, the value of the accompanying FM licence in London could be significantly increased by the execution of a successful turnaround strategy. The London licence alone could reflect the price paid for the whole business, if the station’s rock music programming were to be made more relevant to consumers and advertisers in the capital

  • SMG
Media, Music and Radio 8 June 2008
Virgin Mobile price increases

Virgin Media has recently upped its mobile prices both within the ‘quad-play’ and on the Virgin Mobile standard prepay product

  • Virgin Media
Telecoms, Mobile 1 August 2007
Virgin Mobile and MVNOs

MVNOs have attracted much attention recently. Virgin Mobile's IPO revealed attractive economics and discount MVNOs in certain smaller European markets have had success. This report considers the question of whether Virgin Mobile is a one-off or the start of a trend, and whether discount MVNOs can replicate their success in larger countries.

 

 

 

  • Virgin Media
Telecoms, Mobile 13 September 2004
Virgin Media’s rural NGA trials

Virgin Media has indicated that ‘non-traditional’ modes of build-out could bring a further one million households within the cable footprint

The company has not yet revised its existing plans to reach an additional half a million homes by 2012, but an upward revision is looking increasingly likely, possibly to two million by 2017

Should VMed make such a revision, the impact on both VMed and other players would be modest

  • Virgin Media
Media, TV 12 March 2010
Virgin Media's cable broadband speed upgrade: put that in your pipe

Virgin Media’s plan to double the line speed of most of its broadband customers is the latest in a series of moves to retain its position as the leading high speed internet service provider in the face of BT’s deployment of next generation access (NGA)

The move presages further price increases and an upgrade to offers for new cable customers, but is in the first instance about retaining the large existing base of cable customers currently on 10 Mbit/s

The £150 million or so of incremental capex required is small in the context of NGA, but the impact both on cable churn and demand for higher speeds across the wider market is by no means certain

  • Virgin Media
  • TalkTalk
  • Sky
Fixed Line, Telecoms, Media, Internet 11 January 2012
Virgin Media Q4 results: Restructuring story promising, growth story more dubious

Virgin Media’s Q4 results were again mixed – increasing competition is continuing to have a significant effect on net additions but, as yet, most higher ARPU customers are staying put, permitting modest revenue growth

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 2 March 2007
Virgin Media Q4 2017 results: Growth limited by market pressures

Virgin Media’s Q4 performance was a little softer than expected, with subscriber figures quite weak and no improvement in ARPU growth despite a better implementation of its annual price rise

The cause is however likely market-driven, with broadband demand slowing and all operators struggling for ARPU growth, and Virgin Media does now lead the market for subscriber, RGU and revenue growth

The prospects for 2018 are solid if not spectacular, with Project Lightning driving market share gains and ARPU defended by a network speed advantage that will last for many years yet

  • Liberty Global
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Internet, Media, Mobile, Telecoms, UK Media 20 February 2018
Virgin Media Q4 2016 results: Accelerated build, delayed benefits

Virgin Media successfully ramped up its network extension in Q4, passing more than double the homes in the previous quarter, and above the rate required to meet 2017 expectations

Net customer additions were, however, relatively weak, entirely due to extra churn caused by the price increase implemented in the quarter. The price increase’s effect on ARPU and revenue growth was muted by ARPU discounting for new customers, leaving revenue growth broadly unchanged

Subscriber growth has already improved in early 2017, and is likely to continue to improve through the year. The discounted ARPU impact will be more sustained, but robust revenue growth is still likely throughout the year

  • Liberty Global
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Media, Telecoms, UK Media 24 February 2017
Virgin Media Q4 2014 results: Growing and building

Virgin Media’s Q4 results were strong across all measures, with household, RGU and all product net adds accelerating, revenue accelerating, and OCF growth

As demand for high speed broadband grows, Virgin Media is benefiting by offering the fastest top speeds and by being the cheapest provider for speeds over 30Mbps

The company has announced a £3bn investment to extend its network by 4m premises, which may win it an extra 6% share of the broadband market at the expense of BT, Sky and TalkTalk

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms 20 February 2015
Virgin Media Q4 2013 results: Promising 2014 ahead

Virgin Media’s consumer cable revenue growth dipped down to 3% in Q4, largely driven by weaker RGU growth during the year feeding through

Subscriber net adds were however much stronger in Q4, and the company has confidently implemented firm price increases this month, backed up by another speed increase across all tiers

OCF declined by 5%, or 1% excluding one-off items, with increased sports content costs from BT and Sky weighing. However, the company remains confident of mid-single digit OCF growth in 2014, with growth improving through the year

  • Virgin Media
Telecoms, Fixed Line 18 February 2014
Virgin Media Q4 2012 results and acquisition by Liberty Global

Virgin Media had a very strong Q4, with subscriber net adds improving across all main products, ARPU solid, and margins improving to record levels, with revenue growth set to accelerate in the coming quarters

This was overshadowed by the announcement that Liberty Global is planning to acquire Virgin Media to form the world’s largest cable TV subscriber base

The impact of this acquisition on the rest of the UK market would be minor, as Liberty Global is likely to follow the current Virgin Media approach on content, network and pricing

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms 8 February 2013
Virgin Media Q4 2011 results and strategy update: speed bumps

VMed’s Q4 results were again mixed, with underlying cash flow growth hit by high capital expenditure primarily relating to accelerating TiVo box installations

But this strong take up of next generation TV, and real progress at the Mobile and Business divisions, give us confidence that the company’s strategy is working

Management guidance of further cash flow growth from the second half of 2012 is credible, though we continue to expect underlying growth to be limited

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, Internet, TV, Media 13 February 2012
Virgin Media Q4 2009 results: continuing strong performance and positive outlook

 

VMed’s Q4 results were again strong; the May 2009 price increases continued to lift revenue and operating cash flow, as expected

There are continuing grounds for optimism, including further price hikes, cost reduction and modest turnarounds at Mobile and Business

There was no news regarding content M&A, but a sale some time this year appears likely and should have a significant positive impact on the company’s financial position

 

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms, TV, Media 26 February 2010
Virgin Media Q4 2008 results: one step forward, one step back

VMed’s Q4 results were mixed, with consumer cable revenue remaining stable but cable net adds dropping significantly and opex performance hit by rising energy costs

Group OCF was stable thanks to improvements at Virgin Mobile and Content

We expect performance to prove relatively resilient in 2009, though not to the extent of generating significant growth in underlying annual cash flow

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 2 March 2009
Virgin Media Q4 2007 results: cable OCF growing but still fragile

Growth in ARPU is reinforcing the impact of improving cable subscriber growth, but revenue remains in decline, year-on-year

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 3 March 2008
Virgin Media Q3 results: Subscriber growth creeps up

In Q3 Virgin Media delivered the strongest cable subscriber net adds it has enjoyed in years, with household net adds of 40k and broadband net adds of 57k ARPU and revenue growth moderated from the previous quarter, but remained strong in absolute terms at 2% and 3% respectively Broadband growth will likely still look modest compared to BT and Sky, but Virgin Media’s base is looking increasingly solid against any future attacks

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, TV, Media 25 October 2012
Virgin Media Q3 2017 results: Building acceleration

Virgin Media’s subscriber figures were flat on the prior year quarter, a robust performance in a slowing and increasingly competitive market, with ARPU growth still weak but at least not worsening

Project Lightning had another successful quarter, accelerating strongly and passing an additional 147k premises, which bodes well for subscriber acceleration into 2018

A recently implemented price increase should boost ARPU growth next quarter, on the basis that it successfully limits the retention discounting that characterised last year’s price increase, but such a boost will be limited by wider market pricing pressures

  • Liberty Global
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Media, Telecoms 20 November 2017
Virgin Media Q3 2016 results: Continued acceleration

Virgin Media continued to accelerate in Q3, with subscriber numbers accelerating despite the broader market slowdown, driven by its network extension starting to have a material impact and an enhanced TV offering reversing its pay TV decline

The only weak area was mobile, with revenue and subscriber growth slowing, and convergence stalling. The company hopes that its 4G launch will reinvigorate this; we believe that consumer demand for fixed/mobile convergence remains limited

The early price rise implemented in November will likely help ARPU but harm churn during the rest of the year; for 2017 and beyond the accelerating network extension will increasingly drive volume and revenue growth

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, UK Media 10 November 2016

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