Monday 16 July 2018

Virgin Media's losses almost triple to €11m as customers switch off

Virgin Media boss Richard Branson in Dublin in 2015 for the announcement that UPC Ireland was becoming Virgin Media
Virgin Media boss Richard Branson in Dublin in 2015 for the announcement that UPC Ireland was becoming Virgin Media

Gordon Deegan

A drop in customers at cable TV and broadband firm Virgin Media in 2016 contributed to pre-tax losses almost tripling to €11.28m.

New accounts show that the firm, owned by John Malone's Liberty Global, recorded the increase in losses after revenues dipped by 2pc, going from €350.27m to €342.6m.

The slump in revenues took place against the background of the number of customers falling from 490,310 to 454,684 a - drop of 35,626.

The directors state that results for the year are in line with management expectations.

The most recent figures from ComReg show that there were 1.4m fixed broadband subscriptions across the country in the fourth quarter of last year.

The accounts for Virgin Media Ireland Ltd show that the company's revenues were made up of 91pc residential and 9pc commercial compared to 93pc residential and 7pc business in 2015.

However, the €11.28m pre-tax loss takes account of hefty non-cash depreciation costs of €66.66m compared to €63.48m under that heading in 2015.

Numbers employed at the company in 2016 decreased from 734 to 709 with staff costs decreasing from €63.78m to €55m.

However, the drop in staff costs is mainly due to restructuring costs reducing from €12.9m to €2.83m.

At the end of December 2016, the company's shareholder funds of €739,000.

Virgin Media's cash increased from €1.3m to €2.2m during the period.

Meanwhile, the company's operating expenses totalled €225m.

Irish Independent

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