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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 17:26 GMT
NTL losses exceed $1bn
Teenager using internet
NTL wants 100,000 broadband internet users by the end of the year
NTL, the UK's largest cable operator, has reported a rise in earnings for the three months to September.

But the company has also seen a slowing in the growth rate of how much each user is paying.

And net losses for the quarter increased, partly due to higher costs of servicing the company's huge debts.

NTL said it has enough funds available to see it through to the point at which the business starts to generate cash.

Chief executive Barclay Knapp said he was pleased with the company's progress.

"We are continuing to concentrate on our 2001 objectives; improving service levels, realising better revenue potential in our products, reducing costs and increasing asset utilisation," he said in a statement.

Earnings up

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 15% to 132m ($190m) - slightly ahead of expectations - while revenues grew by just under 2% to 645m.

NTL logo
But its average revenue per user (Arpu) among British users grew only slightly to 39.50 a month, from 39.36 the previous quarter.

NTL is aiming to increase this figure by selling existing customers more broadband and digital services.

The company said it had now signed up 79,000 people to its broadband internet service, a rise of 73% on the previous three months, and was on target to beat its target of 100,000 by the end of the year.

The number of digital TV subscribers rose by 20% to 1.14m, and NTL says it is "well within reach" of its 1.25m target for 2001.

Funding

Despite the increase in earnings, net losses rose to $1,031m (711m ) from $770.3m (531m) for the same period last year.

This was partly due to higher costs of servicing its debts, which are estimated at about $17bn (12bn).

But the company said it now had sufficient funding.

"We believe that, based on our financial outlook, we are funded up to the point where the Company becomes cash flow positive at the end of 2003," it said.

See also:

14 May 01 | Business
Orange and NTL forge alliance
30 Apr 01 | Business
AOL seeks UK cable alliance
08 Mar 01 | Business
NTL sticks with 2001 targets
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