Virgin Media reports Q1 loss

But net TV customers on the rise

LONDON -- Broadband, cable TV and phone operator Virgin Media on Tuesday announced third-quarter net losses of £154 million ($233 million), compared with £104 million ($57 million) a year ago, as revenue sank £11 million ($17 million) to £936 million ($1.42 billion).

Virgin said that operating income for the three months ending Mar. 31 grew to £13 million ($20 million), up from a loss of £2 million ($3 million), while net cash from its operating activities grew to £129 million ($194 million) from £111 million ($168 million) at the same stage a year ago.

The group -- which is currently seeking a buyer for its TV channels business and includes the brands Living and Trouble -- said that it added 31,000 net new TV customers over the period, down from 37,000 this time last year. It brings its total number of TV customers to 3.65 million. More than half its digital TV customers (53%) used VOD services over the period.

The company said it made £132 million ($199 million) in interest payments on its debt of £5.9 billion ($8.9 billion).

CEO Neil Berkett said the results represent "sound operational and financial performance," across the business.

"We have achieved these results by continuing to deliver a differentiated and highly competitive consumer proposition that exploits our strength in broadband and video-on-demand," he said in a statement.