Publications

Format: Dec 2017
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Virgin Media Q3 2007 results: some better news but sustained improvement in cash flow growth remains distant

Telecoms subscriber growth has improved sharply but this has been achieved at the expense of ARPU growth; revenue continues to decline

Apparent weaknesses in its Q3 2007 results notwithstanding, Premiere has a good chance of meeting its FY 2007 guidance targets of €1 billion in revenues and €80-100 million in EBITDA after recovering marketing rights to live televised domestic football

Uncertainties over football rights from September 2009 remain and doubts persist about long-term growth in a market where 95% of homes receive 30+ free-to-air (FTA) domestic TV channels. Even with News Corporation’s extra know-how, climbing from 3.53 million (end of Q3 2007) to 4 million direct subscribers will take some push, while 5 million looks a distant dream

  • Virgin Media
Telecoms, Media 9 November 2007
Virgin Media Q2 2017 results: Mixed quarter, but still the fastest

Virgin Media’s subscriber figures in Q2 were a little mixed, with total homes and broadband figures weaker than a year earlier, but pay TV much stronger. ARPU growth fell though, largely due to price increase timing effects, leading to a modest dip in revenue growth

Project Lightning premises passed during the quarter rose to 127k, making at least some progress towards upping its run-rate after changing its roll-out management team and approach, the company declined to give indications of how this will evolve

The broader market context is still one of slowing broadband volume growth, and Virgin Media continues to take market share, being the fastest growing of the ‘big 4’ in both subscriber and RGU volumes

  • Liberty Global
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Media, Mobile, Telecoms, UK Media 15 August 2017
Virgin Media Q2 2015 results: Bouncing back

Virgin Media’s subscriber figures bounced back in Q2 after a weak Q1, and consumer revenue growth also improved to a respectable 3% despite continued headwinds from VAT changes

The UK broadband market remains tough, and BT Sport Europe’s launch in Q3 will not make it any easier, but Virgin Media’s access to this and all other sports channels means that it should be able to remain above the fray

The network extension program is likely to give further growth impetus from 2016, and the company is laying the groundwork for network speed upgrades which will maintain its speed advantage for at least the medium term

  • Virgin Media
Telecoms 11 August 2015
Virgin Media Q2 2014 results: Strong revenue, stronger profits

Virgin Media’s consumer cable business has moved back to accelerating volume and (underlying) ARPU growth, with the new ‘big bundle’ packages looking like a success

Growth at the business and mobile divisions improved sharply, pushing group revenue growth back into firmly positive territory, and profitability growth even higher

Given the broadband speeds it offers, Virgin Media is still good value, and gets better value as speed demands increase, allowing continued price increases to back up future growth

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms 10 August 2014
Virgin Media Q2 2013 results: Steady under new management

Virgin Media’s subscriber figures were slightly soft in Q2, even accounting for seasonality, with transaction distractions and reduced marketing spend likely contributing

RGU ARPU growth however remains strong at well over 2%, and increased marketing activity around high speed broadband by competitors will give the company the ongoing capability to keep pricing firm

The company management has had a number of changes, but Liberty Global’s overall strategy – profitable growth, not subscriber chasing – would indicate that any changes in approach will not be radical

Telecoms, Fixed Line, TV, Mobile, Media 6 August 2013
Virgin Media Q2 2011 results: resilient but with limits

VMed’s Q2 results were respectable, but quirky, with resilient underlying revenue and strong cash flow, but exceptionally weak cable volumes

Virgin Mobile is performing better than ever, but steam continues to seep from the cable cash flow boiler

A TiVo push and further progress at Virgin Media Business are still to come, but we expect a trend of gradual decline in fundamental cash flow growth

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, Internet, TV, Media 27 July 2011
Virgin Media Q2 2010 results: real top line strength

Virgin Media’s Q2 results showed real strength in the top line, with continuing growth in cable revenue due to increases in both price and volume compounded by long-awaited growth in revenue from mobile and B2B, although overall performance was compromised to an extent by higher costs

The sale of VMtv to Sky cements a de facto pay TV duopoly by clarifying the distinctive wholesale and retail roles of the two leading players, against which others will find it hard to compete

The outlook continues to look encouraging despite the economic environment and this is reflected in management’s plan to return £700 million of capital, a historic milestone in the history of UK cable

  • Sky
  • Virgin Media
Media, TV, Telecoms, Fixed Line 28 July 2010
Virgin Media Q2 2009 results: positive impact from price increases

VMed’s Q2 results were again mixed but, on balance, encouraging, with the impact of the May price increases feeding through into revenue growth

Cable volume performance was poor but, with the exception of broadband, no worse than expected, and is not expected to deteriorate further relative to the market

We remain optimistic that management will succeed in combining revenue growth with reductions in operating costs to generate sustained growth in cash flow from autumn 2009

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 5 August 2009
Virgin Media Q2 2008 results: continuing improvement but not yet firing on all cylinders

VMed’s Q2 results represent a further step in the recovery of the business, with fixed line churn continuing to fall and operating cash flow (OCF) continuing to grow, helped by a dramatic improvement in OCF at Virgin Mobile

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 9 August 2008
Virgin Media Q2 2007 results: cash flow down; outlook for top line growth remains dubious

The loss of Sky basic channels, strong competition and a maturing broadband market have combined to weaken Virgin Media’s top line results sufficiently to cause cash flow to decline

  • Virgin Media
  • Sky
Fixed Line, Telecoms 7 August 2007
Virgin Media Q1 2017 results: Roll-out and competitive pressures

Virgin Media has run into network roll-out difficulties, having to revise down its previously stated homes passed figures and not committing to a full year 2017 target, with the current build run rate well below that required to hit its medium-term targets

Operating results were a little mixed, with ARPU showing signs of continued discounting and market-wide competitive pressures, and churn was higher than the previous year, but net adds were strong, RGUs stronger, and UK consumer cable revenue growth is still over 4%

Slower Project Lightning roll-out and weaker ARPU growth points to slower revenue growth during 2017 than might otherwise have been expected, but Virgin Media still has relatively strong prospects in a toughening market 

  • Liberty Global
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Media, Mobile, Telecoms 19 May 2017
Virgin Media Q1 2015 results: A pause in momentum

Virgin Media’s subscriber trends were a little weak in Q1 compared to previous trends, with intense promotional activity from competitors hurting, but it still expanded its base

ARPU was also relatively weak due to various VAT and pricing changes, but it still grew, leading to cable revenue growth of 3% versus 4% in the previous quarter, and OCF growth of 5% versus 9% in the previous quarter

This growth level is likely to accelerate over the year as subscriber momentum improves and one-off effects annualise out, with the benefits of footprint extension mainly impacting from 2016

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms 27 May 2015
Virgin Media Q1 2014 results: Volume, revenue and profitability improving

Improving volume trends and ARPU drove Virgin Media’s cable revenue growth to improve from 3.0% to 3.6%, helped by a firm price increase implemented during the quarter

Underlying OCF growth improved more dramatically, from -1% to +6%, with synergy benefits, lower marketing costs and lower premium channel cost growth some of the main drivers

While volume growth is still modest, solid ARPU growth and cost control should allow continued strong OCF growth through the rest of the year

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, TV, Media 11 May 2014
Virgin Media Q1 2013 results: Early price increase boosts revenue

Virgin Media’s consumer business had a very strong quarter in revenue growth terms, but a weaker one in subscriber terms, both driven by the annual price increase occurring during the quarter

On the wholesale side, the company signed up both Sky and two mobile operators for backhaul services, likely at BT Wholesale’s expense

Net net Virgin Media is well on course, with the completion of the acquisition by Liberty Global expected by the end of Q2 unlikely to derail this

  • Virgin Media
Media, TV, Telecoms, Mobile, Fixed Line 25 April 2013
Virgin Media Q1 2011 results: still respectable, but growth dropping

VMed’s Q1 results were respectable, helped by strong revenue growth at Virgin Media Business

However, growth in volume, ARPU and OCF, while still positive, is trending downwards, and we retain our expectation of more limited progress in 2011 compared to 2010

VMed’s strategy is coherent; the issue is the pace at which initiatives such as high speed broadband, service convergence and footprint expansion can be converted into cash flow growth

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, TV, Media 20 April 2011
Virgin Media Q1 2010 results: volume growth strengthening; still potential for improvement

VMed’s Q1 results were again strong, with price increases and opex reduction continuing as the main drivers, underpinned by strengthening volume growth

The company’s recently completed debt refinancing gives management much greater flexibility in deciding how much to reinvest in growing the business

The outlook continues to look very encouraging, with the April price increases, further cost reduction, modest turnarounds at Mobile and Business and improved wholesale terms for Sky content still to come

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, TV, Media 28 April 2010
Virgin Media Q1 2009 results: awaiting impact of price changes

VMed’s Q1 results were again mixed, with declining group revenue and OCF margin but improving performance at Virgin Mobile and continuing strength in TV

The core cable business is facing a return to negative customer growth due to a combination of seasonality and stalling demand for broadband

But de facto price increases in broadband, TV and mobile should boost financial performance from the autumn; we expect this to be combined with reduced opex to generate significant cash flow growth from 2010

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 4 May 2009
Virgin Media Q1 2008 results: turning point in prospect

VMed’s Q1 results represent a further step in the recovery of the core cable business, with markedly lower churn and strong growth in operating cash flow (OCF)

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 11 May 2008
Virgin Media Q1 2007 results: headwinds increasing

Virgin Media’s Q1 top line results were again mixed, with a growing number of customers leaving as competition intensifies, despite the rebrand to Virgin. But it could have been worse; most higher-spending customers are remaining

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 9 May 2007
Virgin Media Netflix TTM OTT pact

Virgin Media and Netflix have agreed on a ground breaking trial that blurs the traditional distinction between pay-TV platforms and OTT services by permitting TiVo customers direct access to Netflix via their set-top boxes The deal promises to benefit both parties as Netflix enhances the Virgin Media content offer to its TiVo customers with minimal risks of cord-shaving, while availability on Virgin Media TiVo offers Netflix the prospect of incremental subscription growth The question is whether other pay-TV platforms will follow suit, including Sky with its competitive interests in film rights acquisition, but where the Netflix value to UK viewers is increasingly seen to lie in its TV content

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms, Technology, Internet, TV, Media 10 September 2013

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