US cable operator Cox Communications beat analysts’ expectations despite posting an 80% drop in first-quarter net income to $135.6 million (€152.8m; £93.7m), down from $686.6m in Q1 2001.

The headline figure masks the ameliorative effects to Cox’s results twelve months ago of a $717.1m gain from changes to its accountancy system. Excluding this, the group reported a loss of $30.5m in Q1 last year, making the first-quarter 2002 figures a substantial improvement.

Cox was boosted by a 1.3% rise in subscribers to its basic service during the quarter to 6.3m, plus an increase in its broadband customer base. It also enjoyed an unexpectedly high 14% surge in ad revenues to $80m.

Revenues, meanwhile, jumped from $991.4m a year ago to $1.18 billion; EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rose 12% to $402m; operating cash flow increased 9% to $392.1m; costs were up 24% to $786m; and debts decreased from $8.42bn to $6.93bn.

Data sourced from: (USA); additional content by WARC staff