Telewest posts improving results

U.K. cabler's share price gains 12%

LONDON — U.K. cable operator Telewest has posted better-than-anticipated results for the first half of 2001, despite a widened loss of £416 million ($597 million), up 41% on the same period the previous year.

Sales were up 24% to $927 million. Profits before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were $203 million, up 16%.

Telewest said it signed up an additional 32,000 digital TV subscribers in the second quarter of the year, bringing its tally of digital subs to 564,000, or 53% of a total 1.3 million TV customers.

Broadband subs increased 13,000 in the second quarter to 38,000. Telewest also said average sales per customer for the half year were up 4% to $56 per month.

The news boosted the cabler’s share price by 12%.

Telewest is Britain’s no. 2 cabler after NTL. Like NTL, Telewest recently saw its already languishing share price hit hard by concerns over the company’s debt, now at $4.8 billion.

Telewest stressed that it was on target to break even in 2004 and that it would require no additional funding.

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