Virgin Media revs up for Liberty Global merger

Bags 'significant' backhaul contract wins with rivals


Virgin Media - which is imminently set to be scooped up by US cable giant Liberty Global - reported a good start to its financial year this morning.

It told the City that revenue had climbed to £1.04bn for the three months ended 31 March 2013 - up 3.6 per cent from £1.01bn for the same period a year earlier.

The telco said it had added 8,600 subscribers to its services over the course of Q1, down from a net addition of 21,200 in Virgin Media's 2012 first quarter.

However, average revenue per user (ARPU) increased a healthy 5.2 per cent from last year's £46.95 to £49.38.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation and other one-time charges rose from £376.5m last year to £398.5m.

Despite the telco making a profit these days, the company still has a huge debt pile, which now stands at an eye-watering £6.1bn.

Virgin Media also revealed that during the quarter it had bagged "major backhaul contract wins" from BSkyB, Telefonica and an unnamed mobile network operator. Financial terms of those deals were kept secret. It said:

During the quarter, we signed a significant ten-year deal with Telefonica UK for the provision of backhaul to 1,500 sites.

We have also secured significant orders under a framework agreement to support the creation of a UK-wide Aggregation Network for another large UK mobile network operator. This means that we now have material backhaul contracts with all the UK mobile network operators.

Additionally, we've secured a significant five-year backhaul contract with Sky, a major UK ISP.

Virgin Media boss Neil Berkett, who will exit the telco with £42m once Liberty Global completes its acquisition of the Hampshire-based company, said that VM's good Q1 results positioned the firm well for its planned merger.

Last week, competition officials at the European Commission waved through Liberty Global's £15bn bid to buy Virgin Media without challenging the proposed takeover by US billionaire John Malone's multinational. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Amazon warehouse staff granted second chance to vote for unionization

    US labor watchdog tosses previous failed result in the trash

    America's labor watchdog has given workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, another crack at voting for unionization after their first attempt failed earlier this year.

    “It is ordered that the election that commenced on February 8 is set aside, and a new election shall be conducted,” Lisa Henderson, regional director at the National Labor Relations Board, ruled [PDF] on Tuesday.

    “The National Labor Relations Board will conduct a second secret ballot election among the unit employees. Employees will vote whether they wish to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.”

    Continue reading
  • It's the flu season – FluBot, that is: Surge of info-stealing Android malware detected

    And a bunch of bank-account-raiding trojans also identified

    FluBot, a family of Android malware, is circulating again via SMS messaging, according to authorities in Finland.

    The Nordic country's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC-FI) lately warned that scam messages written in Finnish are being sent in the hope that recipients will click the included link to a website that requests permission to install an application that's malicious.

    "The messages are written in Finnish," the NCSC-FI explained. "They are written without Scandinavian letters (å, ä and ö) and include, for example, the characters +, /, &, % and @ in illogical places in the text to make it more difficult for telecommunications operators to filter the messages. The theme of the text may be that the recipient has received a voicemail message or a message from their mobile operator."

    Continue reading
  • AsmREPL: Wing your way through x86-64 assembly language

    Assemblers unite

    Ruby developer and internet japester Aaron Patterson has published a REPL for 64-bit x86 assembly language, enabling interactive coding in the lowest-level language of all.

    REPL stands for "read-evaluate-print loop", and REPLs were first seen in Lisp development environments such as Lisp Machines. They allow incremental development: programmers can write code on the fly, entering expressions or blocks of code, having them evaluated – executed – immediately, and the results printed out. This was viable because of the way Lisp blurred the lines between interpreted and compiled languages; these days, they're a standard feature of most scripting languages.

    Patterson has previously offered ground-breaking developer productivity enhancements such as an analogue terminal bell and performance-enhancing firmware for the Stack Overflow keyboard. This only has Ctrl, C, and V keys for extra-easy copy-pasting, but Patterson's firmware removes the tedious need to hold control.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021