NTL Ireland revenues up 28pc to £17.5m

14 May 2003

First quarter 2003 revenues at NTL’s Irish operations jumped 28pc over the previous quarter to £17.5m sterling.

A spokesperson for the local operation attributed the increase to digital TV sales, price increases for certain services and a growth in demand for services at business division. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) for the Irish operation rose to £4.9m sterling, representing a year-on-year increase of 88pc to £2.3m sterling.

The company in Ireland says it has completed technical trials two months ahead of schedule for the launch of its multi-channel multi-point distribution system (MMDS) service and commercial introduction commenced in April.

Overall worldwide revenues at NTL Inc were £546.5m sterling, with an EBITDA of approximately £156.5m sterling. The company had a capital expenditure of £82.5m sterling and an operating cash flow £74m sterling. The company had also managed to slow the rate of churn for its services to 13pc.

In Ireland, residential revenues benefited from the growth in digital TV customers and a price increase that became effective in January 2003, while business sector revenues rose by approximately 50pc to £2.8m sterling.

NTL Ireland ended the quarter with 366,500 customers. Digital TV customers grew by 7,000 to 44,800.

The company says that it has introduced a more rigorous credit policy that will lead to the involuntary disconnection of certain customers. As a result, the company says it anticipates that its residential customer base will continue to decline by approximately 25,000 customers by the end of 2003.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) increased 24pc year on year to £13.38 sterling in the first quarter. Cable TV churn was reduced to 8.1pc in the first quarter, down slightly from 8.3pc in the previous quarter.

Commenting on the results Graham Sutherland, managing director of NTL Ireland said: “We have delivered a much stronger set of results in the first quarter of 2003. Strong revenue growth and effective cost control have lifted EBITDA to £4.9m sterling, a year on year increase of £2.3m sterling (88pc).

“Operating cash flows have improved year on year by approximately £3m sterling. We continue to invest and focus on strengthening both our residential and business sector product offerings. We are particularly encouraged by the successful development of our MMDS digital TV product which launched in April, the continued high levels of demand for digital TV and the rapid growth in our business division.”

By John Kennedy