Publications

Format: Sep 2018
sort descending Sector(s) Date
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 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 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 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 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'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’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 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 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 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 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
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
Virtual reality in 2016: Launch year challenges

Virtual Reality (VR) is hitting the high street as the first premium headsets with mass-market appeal become available for developers and consumers

Core gamers are the initial focus of content developers for the new VR platforms served on top-end PCs and Sony’s PS4 console

The VR ecosystems of Facebook and Google are focused on user-generated 360 degree video content, whereas professional creation tools, workflows, and delivery infrastrucure will likely take several years of experiments to mature

Media, Mobile, Technology, TV 14 March 2016
Virtual Reality in 2018: Ready Player None?

Yet another annual hype cycle in 2018 can’t hide a tepid consumer appetite for all VR platforms and heavy weather for the industry as a whole

The launch of Oculus GO, a standalone device at an attractive price, is a milestone for VR; nevertheless, even Facebook remains worried about reach and the state of the industry

Mobile AR is still a strategic focus for Google and Apple, producing diverse applications instead of just games, but new headsets from Microsoft and Magic Leap which promise advanced MR experiences have no launch dates

  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • HTC
  • Samsung
Internet, Media, Technology, Telecoms, TV 3 July 2018
Vivendi 3.0: Back to square one?

The Vivendi empire is shrinking in revenues, cash flow and also in debt: Activision Blizzard and Maroc Télécom were sold in 2013, SFR will be spun off

We expect SFR’s topline revenue decline to halt in H1 2014, ending the pain from the disruptive launch of Free Mobile in 2012. With SFR and Bouygues Telecom intending to conclude a network-sharing agreement outside urban areas by the end of 2013, SFR should have a more positive story to tell investors when it comes to the Paris stock market in late 2014

With SFR spun off, Vivendi 3.0 will own just Canal+, Universal Music Group (UMG) and GVT (telecoms operator in Brazil), three companies without visible synergies. The end point appears to be the full dissolution of the Vivendi conglomerate

  • SFR
  • Orange
  • Vivendi
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Music and Radio, Internet, TV, Media 13 November 2013
Vivendi scenarios for 2011

Vivendi is close to being in a cash position to buy out minority shareholdings in SFR and Canal+, shedding the image of a ‘conglomerate’ of partly owned and diverse assets, which has weighed on valuation Acquiring Vodafone’s 44% stake in SFR (now only a question of price) would allow Vivendi to rebrand itself as a telecoms story, serving France, with Maroc Télécom and mainly Brazil’s GVT supplying the upside To fully acquire Canal+, Vivendi’s offer will need to consider Lagardère’s option of floating its 20% stake. Owning 100% of Canal+ and SFR opens the narrative of a ‘French media/telecoms champion’ – which we find less credible

  • Vodafone
  • SFR
  • Canal Plus
  • Vivendi
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, Non-UK Media, TV, Media, Non-UK Telecoms 4 November 2010
Vivendi Universal

Vivendi's only agenda at this time is to effect a disposal of its non-core assets for the best price to reduce debt to manageable levels. This note casts a critical eye on prospects for sale of USA Networks (good), Universal Studios (poor) and VU Games (good), as well as the disposal and valuations for other assets such as Universal Music, Groupe Canal+ and Cegetel/SFR.

Media, Telecoms 13 April 2003
Vivendi, Mediaset and the Latin strategy

Vivendi is to acquire the main pay-TV division of Italy’s Mediaset in an all-share transaction, creating a ‘strategic alliance’ between the two groups. Each partner will own a 3.5% stake in the other. The deal is positive for Mediaset but the benefits for Vivendi can only accrue long term

Mediaset Premium claims two million subscribers and recorded €640 million revenue in 2015. However, EBIT losses amounted to €115 million and are likely to more than double through 2016 and beyond. The deal has no discernible impact on Premium’s bigger rival Sky

Vivendi and Mediaset will also jointly operate a ‘global’ online video platform and collectively develop content production and distribution. The pair’s respective assets are sizeable but domestically focused with little demonstrable international synergy

  • Sky
  • Vivendi
Non-UK Media, Media, TV 18 April 2016
VMed Q1 12 results: increased spending on customer equipment and advertising weighs

VMed’s underlying financial performance in Q1 was hit by continuing high capex on customer equipment for TiVo and high speed broadband, and on marketing opex to retain customers Strong take-up of next generation TV, lower cable churn and continuing progress at the Mobile and Business divisions continue to give us confidence that the company’s strategy is working Despite early indications that most cable customers will accept the latest round of price increases, the outlook for underlying cash flow growth in 2012 appears limited

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, TV, Media 25 April 2012
VMed Q4 2010 results: strong financial performance; prospects more modest in 2011

VMed’s Q4 results were strong financially, although this was partly due to an exceptionally sharp drop in capex; cable volume growth continued to weaken in the face of strong competition from BT Retail and BSkyB

VMed’s results for the past seven quarters have benefited heavily from price increases, which are unlikely to have as great an impact in 2011

Management is developing a range of strong initiatives, including TiVo, 30 and 100 Mbit/s broadband, and fixed-mobile service convergence, but the financial benefits are likely to be felt in 2012 and beyond rather than in 2011. A revamped Virgin Media Business should have a more immediate impact, but we expect group performance in 2011 to be more modest

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms, TV, Media 21 February 2011

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