British-based cable operator Telewest continued its long, slow haul our of the red with second quarter profits of £19 million ($34m; €27m).

The US-owned firm, the second largest cable company in the UK, made a £126m loss for the same period last year.

The turnaround in Telewest's fortunes has been fuelled by a 15,000 increase in subscriber numbers through the quarter and 14% growth at its Flextech content division.

The firm is widely expected to merge with its nominal rival, NTL, also US-owned, in a bid to take on the might of Rupert Murdoch's satellite TV monopoly BSkyB and telecoms giant BT.

Telewest's figures show the number of 'triple play' customers (who subscribe to telephony, internet and TV) has risen by 11% to 32.8%.

A merger could prompt the advance sale of Flextech, which owns the Living TV and Bravo channels, for around £800m.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff