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Virgin Media Business sees strong end to 2010

Alex Scroxton

Virgin Media Business, the b2b arm of ISP Virgin Media, has posted a 4.7% year-on-year uptick in fourth quarter sales after strong growth in data and wholesale revenues.

The unit made total sales of £152m in the last three months of 2010. Increased traffic in its existing customer base pushing wholesale revenues up 15.2% at £43.3m, while a strategic move towards higher margin retail data sales paid off in the shape of a 9.3% rise to £62.4m.

In common with Virgin's competitors, voice sales were the black sheep of the family, down 5.7% to £39.7m as telephony usage continued to ebb away. Also performing under par was the firm's LAN solutions business, down 23.5% to £6.5m.

It is now a year since Virgin Media relaunched its business unit, formerly known as ntl:Telewest. The unit, which recently launched a new assault on the data centre market, says it has been able to leverage the strength of its fibre-optic network to grow its business.

"At a time when the public sector is looking to rationalise costs, our advantage particularly comes into its own as demonstrated by our success in being selected ... to power a new public sector network that will transform the delivery of public services in and around London," it said in today's earnings announcement.

Virgin Media Business contributed roughly 15% of the group's total Q4 sales, which came in at just over £1bn. Net income across the business was £35m, reversing an £89m loss in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Virgin said it added has added 177,000 homes to its cable infrastructure during 2010, and has passed 4 million cable broadband customers in the UK, with over 780,000 now availing themselves of its speediest internet options.


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