Britain's largest cable network, US-owned NTL, currently staggering under a £9 billion debt burden [WAMN: 19-Oct-00], is to axe 1,300 of its 22,000-strong workforce as part of a cost reduction exercise.

NTL chief executive Barclay Knapp insists that the move – part of a business review in the wake of rapid expansion – will achieve “significant cost savings, which will become material during the latter half of 2001”.

The time is right, Knapp insists, to "carry out a review of the way we run our business." He is reported to believe that the financial markets do not value Nasdaq-listed NTL properly, with analysts over-focusing on the volatile performance of its cable division. More stable is NTL’s business division which, earlier this week, was said to be considering an IPO.

Last month NTL withdrew from a £328m agreement to air pay-per-view Premiership soccer matches.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)