Virgin Media has lost just over 11,000 mobile customers over the past 12 months, as its MVNO was hit from the move away from prepay.
It had net additions of 35,100 contract customers for the three months to 31 March, but had 75,800 net disconnects in prepay for the same period. It ended the quarter with 2.97m customers, compared to 3.01m this time a year ago. Service revenue was also down 2.9% to £132.0m, with ARPU falling from £14.96 to £14.60.
The company continued to be hit by the effects of changes to mobile termination rates to the tune of £6.9m. Its contract service revenue was up 0.6% to £99.3m, while prepay service revenue fell 10% to £32.7m.
The wider business had a stronger performance, with sales up 7.0% to £725.8m and operating income up 14.4% to £149.8m. Virgin Media is looking ahead to its forthcoming takeover by media giant Liberty Global, with the deal set to be completed later this year.
Neil Berkett, Virgin Media CEO, said: 'We have had a good start to the year with accelerated revenue growth, improved churn, and strong free cash flow growth. The great value we provide through our Collections packages, which bundle superfast broadband and our next generation TiVo service, has seen new customers join and our existing customers stay loyal to us. This positive momentum in the business positions us well for our planned merger with Liberty Global.'
Author: Graeme Neill