Virgin Media Business ups sales, buys back shares

Business communications provider Virgin Media Business has reported a 7.2% increase in sales during the quarter ended 30 June, hitting £152.7m after booking stronger than expected growth in data revenues, up 26.3%. Declining voice and telephone usage saw its voice sales fall 6.2%, while LAN sa

Business communications provider Virgin Media Business has reported a 7.2% increase in sales during the quarter ended 30 June, hitting £152.7m after booking stronger than expected growth in data revenues, up 26.3%.

Declining voice and telephone usage saw its voice sales fall 6.2%, while LAN sales and wholesale revenues were relatively flat during the period.

The wider business saw sales grow 7.1% to £964m, with year-on-year operating income up to £80m from £9m. Virgin said it had seen the highest number of new customer adds since its merger over four years ago.

The company also announced that following its recent refinancing exercise and on the basis of strengthening cashflow, it would be embarking on a planned repurchase of £375m worth of tis common stock over the next 12 months, of which £125m will come from an Accelerated Stock Buyback programme beginning immediately.

The repurchase forms part of a wider scheme to target a leverage ratio of net debt to OCF of approximately 3.0 by 2013. Virgin believes this will allow for more flexibility to invest and expand its operations.

Additionally Virgin Media was yesterday revealed as one of very few ISPs that came close to providing the broadband speeds that it claims to - mainly as a result of its investment in fibre-optic cable services - in an Ofcom survey of the UK's national infrastructure.

"We'll continue to differentiate our propositions by proactively explotiting the advantages of our network and mobile capability," CEO Neil Berkett said today.

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