Virgin Media O2 returns to profitability as network upgrades continue

Virgin Media O2
(Image credit: Virgin Media O2)

Virgin Media O2 returned to revenue growth and posted increased revenues during the second quarter of 2022, as it continued its momentum a year after its merger.

The company added 13,000 new mobile contracts during the three-month period, bringing the total number to 16 million, a figure which rises to 33 million when prepaid and IoT connections are added into the mix.

Meanwhile, the firm added 8.000 new fixed line subscribers, bringing the customer base up to 5.8 million. Low churn and increased prices resulted in a 0.2% increase in revenues to £2.5 billion and a 4 per cent rise in underlying profitability – the best quarter since the merger.

Virgin Media O2 small cells

The solid set of results will be welcomed at a time when Virgin Media O2 continues to invest in its gigabit network and the rollout of 5G, establishing itself as a converged competitor to BT.

As many as 114,000 new premises were added to the fixed network in Q2 and the company says it is on track to reach 500,000 properties by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, its 5G mobile network now reaches 600 towns and cities. However, 50% population coverage won’t be achieved until 2023 – behind rivals EE and Thee which have already achieved the milestone.

“It’s one year on since Virgin Media O2 was born and, while we’ve got much more to do, we came out of the gate running and achieved a huge amount in our first year as a joint business,” declared Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2. “Our mission has been to upgrade the UK and be the biggest challenger in the market, and we’ve continued to do just that.

“In Q2, we’ve grown our fixed and mobile customer base once again, as fast and reliable connectivity remains a top priority for consumers and businesses. We’ve seen an improved revenue performance alongside our best quarterly profitability growth since we merged, putting us in solid shape to meet our full year guidance.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.