Telewest Issues Stable Results; NTL Merger Rejected

17 November 2000

American-owned UK cable company Telewest yesterday posted a stable set of quarterly results, but a merger with rival NTL was ruled out.

Chief executive Adam Singer reported that the distribution of its digital set-top boxes was back on course following problems with component shortages, while the year-end target of 350,000 subscribers is expected to be exceeded.

Telewest also predicted that its churn rate of 28.7% (up 1.7% year on year) would improve in Q4, pointing out that most subscribers who resign their cable subscription keep the phone service.

Singer implied that Telewest’s two biggest backers, Microsoft and Liberty Media, were opposed to any move toward merger with NTL. “We don’t need to merge and I have not detected any enthusiasm from our two major shareholders to do that,” he said.

News sources: Financial Times, The Times (London)