Virgin Media Ireland stems decline in television customers

Irish mobile subscriber numbers reach 44,400 in third quarter, says Liberty Global

Virgin Media Ireland has posted increases in subscriber numbers across all categories in the third quarter. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Virgin Media Ireland has posted increases in subscriber numbers across all categories in the third quarter. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

Virgin Media Ireland posted an increase in its television customers in the third quarter, breaking a pattern of decline over recent years. The company, owned by cable group Liberty Global, added 800 television subscribers in the period, taking its total to 297,300.

In a third-quarter trading update, the company also posted increases in Virgin subscriber numbers across its broadband and telephone services, with Liberty noting “a return to positive growth in Ireland”.

The company, which also owns TV3 Group, has 371,400 broadband customers, up 5,300, and 358,200 telephone customers, up 3,300. Excluding mobile, it has customer relationships with 880,400 households in total in Ireland, up 14,500, with most availing of more than one product.

Virgin added 3,900 mobile customers in the third quarter of this year, bringing its total mobile subscriber numbers to 44,400, an update from its parent company shows.

The mobile division launched in late 2015 and the company has ramped up efforts in the recent past to up subscriber numbers in line with growth across the group.

“Our quarterly revenues increased by 2.4 per cent year-on-year to €103.8 million, driven by higher sales, improved customer retention, accelerated network expansion and continued momentum in our TV3 business,” said Paul Farrell, vice-president of commercial at Virgin Media in Ireland.

“We continue to invest in TV3 where we recently launched an improved autumn schedule while opening an upgraded 3News Ireland Hub to provide viewers with enhanced news and current affairs across the TV3 group channels.”

The group, controlled by Irish-American billionaire John Malone, saw the rate at which it added new customers across Europe fall 23.7 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, while operating income fell 29.7 per cent to $537 million (€461 million).

Revenue increased 2.5 per cent to $3.9 billion (€3.3 billion) driven by successes in the UK and Belgian market.

“The European market remains highly competitive, but our investments in the fastest broadband speeds, the coolest video apps and compelling quad-play bundles are allowing us to win share across our footprint,” said Mike Fries, Liberty Global chief executive.