Telewest Subscriber Base Dips

11 November 2002

Britain’s second largest cable operator Telewest revealed it shed 12,000 subscribers from a total of 1.76 million in the third quarter, and posted a loss of £158 million ($250m; €248m).

Managing director Charles Burdick blamed the decline in customers on changes at its TV unit. “There have been price rises and tighter credit terms,” he explained. “We’re running this business for cash, not growth at any price.”

However, there is a silver lining. US-owned Telewest managed for the first time in Q3 to post underlying earnings greater than capital investment – £94m and £89m respectively.

Also, it added 39,000 broadband internet customers, taking its total to 216,000. In the areas it serves, Telewest claims to have an 80% share of this market.

Meanwhile, there is still no word on the proposed deal with bondholders to swap billions of pounds of debt for shares in a restructured company.

Data sourced from: The Times (London); additional content by WARC staff