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Virgin Media increased its broadband consumer base during the first quarter of the year, as demand for fibre services increased.

The broadband provider saw net 21,200 customers join between January and March 2012, up 6,000 on the final three months of 2011.

Virgin Media's customer base also saw lower customer attrition during the quarter, as fewer households switched to an alternative broadband provider.

Latest company accounts revealed that operating income was up 18 per cent to 131 million pounds, as overall revenue grew 2.4 per cent to £1 billion.

Neil Berkett, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said the firm made "steady progress" during the first quarter of the year.

"Demand for super-fast broadband and TiVo, the UK's first mass-market connected TV service, continued to gather momentum," he stated.

"We once again demonstrated the unique power of our network by starting to double the broadband speeds of over four million customers."

Mr Berkett said Q1-2012 saw Virgin Media's best subscriber retention for two years, helping to reinforce its confidence that people "increasingly appreciate the value of a genuinely next generation digital experience".

"In addition, a growing base of mobile contract subscribers together with strong revenues in Virgin Media Business showed again that we have multiple sources of revenue growth," he stated.

"Over the remainder of 2012, we expect continued steady progress across the company which, combined with the underlying resilience of our business model, will translate into strong cash flow and shareholder returns."

Virgin Media recently doubled the download speeds available to many of its broadband customers.

Subscribers on the 10Mb, 20Mb and 30Mb packages saw speeds increase to 20Mb, 40Mb and 60Mb, while those on the 50Mb and 100Mb tariffs received a speed boost to 120Mb broadband.

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