If Virgin Mobile floats later this year as planned, it will be the first Virgin company on the London Stock Exchange since Sir Richard Branson took his group private in 1988. Virgin Mobile has 4m customers in the UK and its sister company in America has a further 1.7m. It is planning to move into Canada in partnership with Bell Mobility and is also examining opportunities in China, India and South Africa. Virgin Mobile’s 2003 UK sales climbed £170m to £458m, while operating profits shot up £63m to £67m. Virgin Group assumed full control of Virgin Mobile in January, when it bought T-Mobile’s 50% stake.
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