A “third strong quarter of growth” and entry into a period of improved financial stability was claimed by Britain’s number two cable network, US-owned Telewest.

Viewed alongside the actual numbers these bullish claims are likely to raise a few eyebrows. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rose 17% to £68 million in Q3 ended March 31, while sales soared 34% to £321m.

All well and good until goodwill charges and the cost of servicing the group’s eyewatering £4.6 billion debt are factored into the equation - resulting in a widened pre-tax loss of £208m, up from £137m a year earlier.

But, insists Adam Singer, Telewest chief executive, the group has sufficient available funds to survive until it hits positive cashflow, predicted for 2003.

News source: The Times Business News (London)