Sir Richard Branson’s company Virgin Media during the first quarter of 2019 has connected 102,000 premises to their cable network, as part of their efforts on a £3bn rollout of superfast broadband.
The company are rolling out their biggest network expansion across the UK, which was aimed at providing coverage to 17m homes by the end of this year.
Virgin Media footprint is currently at 14.51m homes across the UK and their customer base stands strong at 5.534m.
Project Lighting was the result of an additional 59,000 broadband, landline or television services being taken out over the same period.
Virgin’s revenues slipped by 6.6% to $1.66bn.
Mike Fries, CEO of parent company Liberty Global said, “From an operating perspective, Virgin Media continued to deliver improved subscriber trends.
“During the first quarter, Virgin Media delivered nearly 60,000 RGU additions, a 32 per cent year-over-year improvement driven by 26,000 new customer relationships.
“On the innovation front, we are pushing the envelope in the U.K.”
Fries added, “Our Q1 ARPU performance at Virgin Media was impacted by lower install and telephony usage revenue, the timing of certain PPV events and increased promotions in response to market dynamics.
“However, our competitive position remains strong and we continue to extend our reach with Project Lightning, where we are building 400,000-500,000 new premises every year.”
Paolo Pescatore, an analyst with PP Foresight said, Virgin Media now remains the crown jewels in Liberty Global’s portfolio, but also a problem child.
“Moves to divest other assets shows a desire to leave Europe by maximising the value of each asset. However, acquiring Virgin Media would not cheap for any party and would require significant long-term investment to compete with BT other smaller aggressive fibre broadband providers.
“Latest moves to strengthen Virgin Media’s portfolio suggests that Liberty Global is committed to the UK for the short to medium term.
“Given the renewed push towards convergence and importance of owning fixed and mobile assets [due to 5G and more], it is feasible that it might acquire or merge with a UK mobile operator.”