LONDON (Reuters) - A high-profile advertising campaign by Olympic champions Mo Farah and Usain Bolt helped pay-TV group Virgin Media to sign up a record number of net new cable customers in its third quarter and boost its profitability.
Virgin, which provides pay-TV, broadband and telephony, said it had added 39,500 customers in the three months to the end of September, with subscribers drawn to the super-fast broadband offering and TiVo digital TV service.
The average spend per user was also up 1.8 percent and the number of people dropping the service was down, as customer loyalty increased.
The willingness of customers to sign up for more expensive packages meant the group posted third quarter revenues up 2.8 percent to 1 billion pounds ($1.60 billion), in line with forecasts, and operating cash flow up 6.1 percent.
"This has been a quarter where continued strong demand for superfast broadband and TiVo has led to lower churn and meaningful cable customer growth," Chief Executive Neil Berkett said.
"Combined with progress in our business division, we have again delivered solid financial progress with continued revenue and OCF growth, translating into strong Free Cash Flow and shareholder returns."
($1 = 0.6237 British pounds)
Reporting by Kate Holton