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Virgin Media - Full Year And Fourth Quarter 2012 Results

Stocks in this article: VMED

We launched our Virgin TV Anywhere service towards the end of the year which allows our TV customers to stream up to 45 live channels to tablets and smartphones, with even more content available online, including thousands of hours of on demand programming. It also allows Virgin Media TiVo customers to connect to their TiVo boxes to manage their recordings wherever they are.

We continue to add more TV content to all our entertainment services. After the period end, we introduced two further HD channels from Turner Broadcasting, bolstering the total number of HD channels available to our customers to 39.

Mobile – continued contract revenue growth

Full year mobile revenue was £554.8m, which was relatively flat compared to 2011 as strong contract revenue growth was offset by prepay revenue decline and regulatory changes to mobile termination rates (“MTR”). Contract service revenue increased 8.9% to £399.8m in 2012, while prepay service revenue declined by 18% to £140.7m. The MTR change reduced the amount of inbound mobile revenue we received by approximately £24.1m. Mobile revenue would have increased by approximately 4.5% excluding this regulatory factor. Due to a similar associated reduction in interconnect costs for our mobile and fixed line businesses from these regulatory rates changes, the impact on group OCF of the MTR changes was broadly neutral.

Mobile revenue grew by 0.6% or £0.9m in the quarter as a 4.6% growth in contract service revenue to £102.3m was offset by a 16% prepay service revenue decline to £34.9m and an approximate £6.5m regulatory MTR impact.

We increased our contract mobile base by 38,100 in the quarter. The total contract base increased 12% from a year ago to 1.7m, while our prepay subscriber base reduced by 32,100 compared to a decline of 53,500 in the comparable period last year.

At the quarter-end, we had approximately 834,600 cable households with at least one Virgin Mobile contract, which is up 15% year-on-year. These homes had around 1.2m contract mobiles. We also estimate we have a further 202,500 cable households with at least one of our prepay phones, meaning total mobile penetration of the cable base is around 21%, providing further significant growth opportunities to cross-sell to the remaining 79%.

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