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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
NTL losses fall as subscribers up
NTL home services - phone, TV, broadband
NTL bundles together telephone, TV and internet services
The UK's largest cable company NTL saw its first-quarter losses narrow, as it added 32,800 new subscribers.

During the January-to-March period, its losses from continuing operations narrowed to 62.6m ($118m), down from a 75.5m deficit a year previously.

The firm made a net profit of 456m, compared with a net loss of 65.4m for the same period a year ago, but this rise was boosted by a one-off windfall.

Analysts said NTL's long-awaited merger with Telewest was now moving closer.

NTL, which bundles together TV, internet and phone services, saw revenues for the first three months of this year rise 0.7% to 517.3m.

Irish sale

Its net loss was turned into a profit thanks to the disposal of subsidiary NTL Broadcast.

NTL also announced on Monday that it has agreed to sell its cable business in the Republic of Ireland to UnitedGlobalCom for 325m euros (212m).

Analysts said this sale now paves the way for NTL's long-expected merger with smaller UK rival Telewest.

NTL and Telewest are thought to need to merge to be able to better compete against the market-leading pay-TV company BSkyB.

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