Virgin Media losses widen

Virgin Media has reported a drop in revenues and widening losses for the fourth quarter as reports emerge it will make a decision over the sale of its television channels businesses this week.

The media company says total revenues dipped to £1.03bn in the three months to December 31 from £1.05bn a year earlier. Operating losses rose to £50m, from £18m in Q4 2007, on restructuring and other costs totalling £19.8m and an impairment charge.

Despite the drops in revenue and income, Virgin Media says customer numbers for its broadband and television service registered net increases. On-net broadband customers increased by 57,100 year on year to 3.68m while subscribers to its cable television service rose 44,500 to 3.62m.

The results come as the cable company is reportedly on the verge of a decision over the sale of Virgin Media Television. Quoting sources, a report in today’s (February 25) Financial Times, says the Virgin Media board will decide Friday (February 27) whether to sell its content division which includes a 50% stake in UKTV and channels including Living.

Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media, says the company will focus on “operational efficiency” in 2009.

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