Broadband lift helps Telewest cut losses

Damian Reece
Saturday 13 March 2004 01:00

Telewest, THE highly indebted cable company, announced vastly reduced osses yesterday and said its long awaited financial restructuring was expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter or early in the third.

The company in fact saw revenue from its core cable television operation fall 6 per cent to £317m while its telecoms business fell 5 per cent to £470m. However, its broadband internet business soared 90 per cent to £120m, allowing Telewest to report total revenues up a marginal 1 per cent to £907m.

Barry Elson, the recently appointed chief executive, said: "Broadband bundled together with telephony and television is proving popular and 17 per cent of our customers now take the full triple-play. This is helping to improve average revenue per user."

Net losses at the company fell from £2.2bn in 2002 to £272m last year. Telewest's operating loss was £87m last year down from £1.8bn. It said that revenue per user was now £44.42 a month in the fourth quarter, equivalent to £533 on an annualised basis. The company's subscriber base now included 450,000 broadband customers and 1 million digital TV subscribers, it said.

Telewest also owns Flextech, the TV production company which operates the uktv channels as a joint venture with the BBC. Flextech saw total revenues rise 6 per cent to £181m last year with uktv increasing as part of that from £64m in revenue to £69m.

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