Thursday 22 August 2019

Dialling up growth: Virgin Media Ireland revenues rise 3.5pc

Media: Newsreader Claire Brock at the rebrand of TV3 to Virgin Media Television last year
Media: Newsreader Claire Brock at the rebrand of TV3 to Virgin Media Television last year
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Revenue at Virgin Media Ireland increased by 3.5pc to €225.9m over the first half of 2019.

Total service subscriptions reached 1.1 million, and a further 19,000 homes and businesses were connected to the Virgin Media network in the first six months of 2019, bringing total premises passed to 941,400.

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However, the company saw a slight fall in its TV and broadband customer numbers, by 2,700 and 1,100 respectively, on a quarter-by-quarter basis.

It also experienced a decline in its home telephone customer base by 6,500, compared with three months previously.

Across its mobile division, there was a 43pc year-on-year increase in customers, to 91,500.

Elsewhere, streaming of the Virgin Media Player increased by 61pc year-on-year, and by 7pc year-on-year for catch-up.

The group said the Six Nations match between Ireland and England was the most watched TV event in Ireland this year, while 'Love Island' saw record audiences, particularly among 15 to 24 year-olds.

Meanwhile, the group's owner Liberty Global will spend $2.5bn (€2.2bn) to buy back shares in a Dutch auction-style tender offer, following its sale of continental European businesses to Vodafone Group.

The cable firm controlled by Irish-American billionaire John Malone said it will repurchase the shares in a specified price range in the auction starting on August 12. The scale of the planned buyback is less than some analysts had been expecting, although it may announce more later.

United States-listed Liberty Global has received $11.3bn in cash from the sale of a third of its business to Vodafone, according to a filing this week.

It reported second-quarter sales and profit that fell more than expected.

Operating cashflow dropped 3.4pc, a bigger decline than the 1.6pc average of analyst estimates in a company-compiled survey. Revenue from continuing operations fell 0.6pc, excluding Switzerland.

UK and Ireland subscriber growth fell short of analyst forecasts, and its UK tax bill and content programming costs grew.

Additional reporting Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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