NTL, the lossmaking US cable group whose operations are focused in the UK, continues its prolonged struggle out of the red, reporting a reduced first quarter net loss of £62.6 million ($117.86m; €91.53m), 17.1% better than the same period last year, when it bled £75.7m.

Revenues rose 0.7% to £517.3m, with three-quarters coming from the company's consumer business, which increased income by 4%. The business division, however, slipped 10.1% to £113.6m. The company also claimed 1.44 million broadband subscribers, up 33,000 in the first quarter.

Chief executive, Simon Duffy, declined comment on renewed speculation that NTL is preparing to merge with its chief rival, Telewest.

Analysts and other observers, however, see the marriage as a foregone conclusion - the sole element of doubt being when and on what terms.

Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff