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Virgin customer numbers dip

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Virgin is reporting a slight dip in customer numbers over the last three months, but reckons those customers are of a higher quality and that the operating loss of £333 million is just a temporary state of affairs.

The group has added subscribers during the last quarter - a couple of hundred thousand more are getting their TV from Virgin compared to last year, while another 56,000 signed up to mobile contracts. But almost 200,000 signed off their prepaid mobiles, so not all of those moved onto contracts with Virgin.

Virgin reckons that it might have a smaller number of customers now, but those customers are taking advantage of more than one service from the quad-player, so the company now has just over 12 million "Revenue Generating Units" as they delightfully term customer-contracts, but the majority of customers will have more than one contract with the company - indeed the company has cut the number of punters with only one product by 64,800 punters during the quarter putting the number of punters buying 3 or more services from Virgin up to 53.1 per cent.

This was, of course, the whole point about being a quad-player company: to be able to cross-sell products to existing customers. Virgin believes this process is progressing well, even if that's not turning into bigger profits yet.

As the company puts it in its statement: "Despite the second quarter traditionally being the weakest quarter for gross additions, resulting in 19,500 net customer disconnections, the quality of our customer base has improved." ®

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