Losses balloon at Virgin Media Ireland but revenue rises

Company records €26.3m loss despite mobile growth as costs go up

After reducing its headcount in 2019, Virgin Media Ireland has taken on additional staff this year.

After reducing its headcount in 2019, Virgin Media Ireland has taken on additional staff this year.

 

Losses at Virgin Media Ireland ballooned last year despite growth in customer numbers and revenue, its latest accounts filed with the companies office show.

Virgin, which derives most of its income from supplying cable broadband, pay TV, telephone and mobile services, saw revenue rise from €363 million in 2018 to €378 million in 2019. Customer numbers were up from 454,800 in 2018 to 479,017.

Most of the increase in revenue was down to mobile revenue which increased from €28 million to €37 million.

However, the company recorded a loss for the year of €26.3 million compared with a loss of €856,000 in 2018. Cost of sales grew from €73 million to €85 million, while other operating expenses grew from €234 million to €255 million.

Capital expenditure was reduced during the 12 month period from €106 million to €75 million. Operating profit was down from €59 million to €39 million.

The directors said they had “a reasonable expectation” that the company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future.

“As with any company placing reliance on other group entities for financial support, the directors acknowledge that there can be no certainty that this support will continue, although at the date of approval of these financial statements they have no reason to believe that it will not do so, and continued operations are key to the wider group,” they said.

The headcount at Virgin dropped from 751 to 665 during the year, although staff costs rose from €55.2 million to €59.8 million.

Covid-19 impact

In March of this year, the company took on 80 additional staff as it sought to deal with unprecedented demand for its services following the Covid outbreak.

The company said it had witnessed a 300 per cent rise in requests for services from customers since the Covid-19 crisis began in Ireland. It said at that time that it was looking to ensure it had enough bandwidth to support subscribers and was prioritising calls for assistance from the healthcare sector and others engaged in managing the State’s response to the crisis.

Figures from its parent Liberty Global earlier this year showed Virgin has about 993,700 subscribers in the Republic.