Virgin Media marks 2010 as its “best ever” year

Virgin Media says 2010 was its “best ever” year after adding a mass of new subscribers and achieving record average annual spend per customer.

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The company also reported a record annual revenue of £3.876bn, up 5.8% from the previous year.

Quarterly revenue exceeded £1bn for the first time ever in the final quarter, up 6.6% year on year, bolstered by the £32.6m investment in marketing for the period.

The company posted a £37.1m profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss of £94.4m in the same period the previous year.

Average revenue per user was up 4.9% to another record of £47.51.

Virgin Media’s subscriber base is now 4.8 million, with the company adding 76,000 new customers in 2010 – up from just 17,600 in the previous year.

Virgin signed up 44,100 new customers to its broadband service, which boosted “triple-play penetration” – customers with three Virgin products – to 63% of its subscriber base and quad-play penetration increased to 11.8%.

Virgin increased its TV base by 12,100 in the final quarter, taking the total number of TV customers up to 3.78 million.

The company also signed up 91,900 new HD customers in the final quarter, building its HD subscriber base to 1.5 million. Currently 39% of Virgin customers have its HD service.

Chief executive Neil Berkett says: “A strong financial performance combined with the launch of a number of market leading product developments ensured 2010 was a year of great achievement for Virgin Media.”

Berkett points to the launch of its new TV service, powered by TiVo, and the rollout of its 100MB broadband to further accelerate Virgin Media’s success and growth in 2011.

Revenue was also boosted by Virgin Media selling its TV channels to rival BSkyB for £160m in June. The company said it also made a net income of £2.6m in the fourth quarter from its 50% stake in UKTV.

Last month BSkyB reported a profit lift of 26%, helped by strong demand for its broadband and HD services.

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