Amsterdam-headquartered cross-border cable TV giant United Pan-European Communications yesterday posted a massive Q2 loss and announced the resignation of chief executive Mark Schneider.

Having written off a large sum in its business telecoms division, UPC lost E863 million ($774m) in the second quarter, though the shortfall in its core operations – which it expects to be profitable in 2002 – narrowed slightly.

Worryingly for the company, Q2 also saw only slight growth in its subscriber base for cable-supplied digital services such as web and telephone connections, casting doubt on UPC’s plans to net hundreds of thousands of customers for the digital set-top boxes it is launching in five European nations.

The unexpected departure of Schneider prompted few tears among analysts in light of UPC’s weak results and hefty debts. In a conference call, Schneider revealed the group wanted an “executing-focused manager” to succeed him. UPC, meanwhile, announced it is trying to reduce costs.

News source: New York Times