Rarely out of the news at the moment, debt-crippled UK cable group NTL has been forced to deny speculation it is to make a profits warning.

The US-listed group is expected to make a statement before the end of the month. The contents of the announcement are not known, though it has been widely suggested that NTL will use it to unveil a restructuring of its £12 billion debt.

However, in light of mounting concern over the firm’s financial outlook, the group felt obliged to make it clear that the statement will categorically not involve a revision of earnings expectations.

“NTL is not going to issue a profits warning,” insisted a spokeswoman. “We are on target to meet or exceed the EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) guidance given on December 18.”

Britain’s biggest cable-TV operator has been at the centre of countless stories in recent weeks, as investor anxiety over its long-term future grows. Only last week, it emerged that the group was considering renting its network to rival ISPs and that it was seeking new funding from the likes of AOL Time Warner and Microsoft [WAMN: 15-Jan-02; 18-Jan-02].

News source: The Times (London)