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Cost crunch squeezes NTL

Revs double to $360 million

NEW YORK — U.K. cabler NTL Inc. said Monday its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter to $360 million from $154 million the year before as higher costs widened the company’s net loss more than threefold to $349 million.

NTL has become a major player in the U.K. and European cable scene. It recently announced that France Telecom will become a major investor and NTL plans to acquire the cable, TV and Internet businesses of competitor Cable & Wireless Communications. It seems likely that the U.K.’s third major cable operator, Telewest, will also pile on before long.

NTL has also acquired broadband cable franchises from British Telecommunications. Including all its pending deals, NTL will have 3.2 million subscribers.

As NTL grows both internally and by acquisition, its operating costs, corporate, general and administrative expenses, depreciation and amortization expense and interest expenses have increased dramatically. The company said it also spent heavily on a new advertising and branding campaign.

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