Investment: Telewest future looks better
Friday 07 August 1998
Not that Telewest's interim results, released yesterday, offer much support for that view. Although penetration rates improved, they remain stuck at low levels: 22.8 per cent for television and 30.9 per cent for telephony. The best companies in the sector are getting closer to 40 per cent. Churn rates are still stubbornly high. And Telewest's income statement remains a sea of red ink: although operating losses narrowed from pounds 60m to pounds 39.9m, a higher interest bill meant pre-tax losses were more or less steady at pounds 142m.
The future, however, should be different. Its merger with General Cable, which should be completed in September, gives Telewest economies of scale and helps shift its focus to the business market - one of the fastest growing areas of telecom spending. The new Millennium package, which combines telephony and television in a low-price package, should improve penetration.
The advent of digital television will also allow Telewest to run high- speed Internet access services: the first time it has been able to offer its customers something they cannot get from the likes of BSkyB and British Telecom.
All this, plus the prospect of further consolidation and the imminent arrival of a new chief executive, has led to Telewest shares more than doubling this year. They added 7p to 160.5p yesterday. There is still a large hope factor: Telewest is unlikely to report a profit until 2002. But the group now has a better chance of success than ever before. The shares are risky, but for exposure to the booming telecom sector, worth a punt.
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 Fifa corruption arrests: Nike reported to be 'multinational sportswear company' at centre of bribery claims over Brazil shirt deal
- 3 Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
- 4 Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer to keep her job after vote of no confidence petition fails
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
Hopes raised for treatment of severe amnesia after scientists retrieve lost memory – using light
Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of a voyeuristic sex crime
Poorest part of London is wealthier than the richest parts of Northern Ireland and Wales
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
How to live to be really old
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...
£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...