UK cable group NTL has reported a strong finish to 2004 as losses fell by nearly 80%.

The company, headquartered in Southern England but listed on the US Nasdaq exchange, says fourth quarter revenues rose 5.3% to £531.7 million ($1.01bn, €746m).

Operating losses for the year were £39m, while operating income, before depreciation, amortisation and other charges rose 12% per cent to £694m.

The consumer division, which supplies broadband internet, TV and telephone services, increased sales by 8.7% to £1.51 billion. Monthly customer churn remained unchanged at 1.5%, although ceo Simon Duffy expects this figure to fall in 2005.

The company, which emerged from US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2003, has undergone major restructuring with a rights issue, 1,500 job cuts and the sale of its masts and communications towers for £1.27bn [WAMN: 3-Dec-04].

Duffy is also mulling a sale of NTL's Irish operations, but refuses comment on longstanding speculation it will merge with another UK based but US-owned cable operator, Telewest.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff