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Thursday, 16 November, 2000, 11:53 GMT
Telewest 'back on track'
telewest
Telewest is now confident of meeting targets
British cable telecoms company Telewest has said that the roll-out of its digital television services is back on track, following a shortage of its set-top boxes.

The company reported on Thursday that it had resumed marketing its digital television product in October, after a three month hiatus, and that demand has been "very strong" with a "record month for sales".


This is definitely a company that is solid and wobble-free

Adam Singer, chief executive, Telewest

Adam Singer, Telewest's chief executive, also added that the group had 315,000 digital sales as of Tuesday and it is confident that it will reach its revised target of 500,000 by the end of the first quarter of next year.

Pre-tax earnings for the first nine months of the year rose 9% to 180m, compared with forecasts between 170-180m.

Chip shortage

The digital set-top box problem, caused by a worldwide shortage of memory chips, is said to have cost Telewest some six thousand of its 1.6 million residential subscribers, although the company itself says it is difficult to quantify.

Telewest is the UK's second largest cable operator after NTL.

It has a number of different strings to its bow, providing cable TV, telephone and internet access services (both high-speed and conventional) in an increasingly cut-throat market.

In March, Telewest announced the launch of Blueyonder, which offers high-speed internet access, with speeds up to 10 times as fast as a typical dial-up connection.

The cost of this service was cut from 50 a month to 33 in August, undercutting BT's rival package.

Telewest has also recently announced a new pricing structure for digital TV.

Shares in the company reacted positively following Thursday's announcement and were 8.25p higher at 121p in early trading.

Telewest shares have underperformed their peers by 46% this year.

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See also:

08 Aug 00 | Business
Telewest cuts web access costs
03 Aug 00 | Business
Telewest digital setback
23 Mar 00 | Business
High-speed net: Is it worth it?
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