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By | Kat Hall 22nd September 2016 08:35

Virgin Media costs balloon by MEEELLIONS in wake of Brexit

Staffer also asks: Why is Richard Branson still in our ads?

Exclusive Costs at Virgin Media have so far risen by £7m this year following Brexit, due to increased import costs, the company revealed in a Q&A with staff this week seen by The Register.

In the quarterly "Grill", chief exec Tom Mockridge was asked if the company would revise its sales targets set prior to the EU referendum "given the impact" Brexit has had on the economy.

Mockridge replied he was "aware of this" but the 2016 budget is "the budget and we must strive to hit the targets".

He was also asked by another member of staff, Thomas, whether if in the 2020 General Election the company would be mailing all employees to tell them who to vote for "or was the EU referendum a one-off (genuine question)?"

He said: "Thomas (good name!). It was a one-off, a very unusual circumstance."

Another member of staff was seemingly perturbed by the company's investment in the remain campaign.

He said: "In the previous Grill you confirmed that [Liberty Global] were thinking about making a large investment to the #remain campaign to keep us in the EU, but I don't know if that investment was ever made. If you did invest, how much was the final figure?

"Ps: there should be more transparency here, you informed us that [Liberty Global] were thinking about making this investment, and then we never heard anything after."

Mockridge replied Liberty Global was required to have a shareholder vote on the issue and it made Page 1 of the FT, "total spent by Group (not impacting VM) was £500,000."

Liberty Global bought Virgin Media for $23.3bn (£15bn). However, one member of staff was slightly perplexed as to why the beardy founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, still appeared on the company's ads.

He said: "Hi Tom. I am confused about why Richard still appears on VM adverts. I know you (Liberty Global) are now the man at the top but just curious as to exactly what Richard's involvement now is as friends and family ask me all the time."

Mockridge said the business is very much a Virgin branded company and "Richard's a terrific presence for us."

He added: "Of course that's evolved - in the past year or so he has supported VM Business more in Voom in the UK and focused more on consumer in Ireland. But he's still very much part of the team, and I'm in very regular contact with him and his People."

The Register has contacted Virgin for a comment. ®

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