NTL reduces churn, increases broadband rollout

11 Nov 2005

NTL Ireland, whose acquisition by Liberty Global was approved last week by the Competition Authority, has reported a 13pc increase in third-quarter revenues over last year of €29.9m. The company said homes upgraded for broadband has reached 155,200 and reduced churn from 9.9pc last year to 8.8pc this year.

NTL Ireland reported a net customer growth of 5,100 during the quarter to 358,700. Digital television customers grew by 12,300 during the quarter to 121,900 and the number of actual broadband subscribers on the company’s cable network grew to 16,400.

“We remain delighted with the financial and operational performance of NTL Ireland in an increasingly competitive environment,” commented NTL Ireland managing director Graham Sutherland. “Revenue and customer growth continues to accelerate and fully justifies our ongoing commitment to infrastructure investment and differentiation of our products and services.”

The number of homes upgraded for broadband reached 155,200, bringing to 33pc of its network upgraded for broadband, with the Galway and Waterford segments fully enabled.

NTL said broadband penetration on NTL’s network is now up to 11pc of available homes.

The company said some 15,000 new cabled homes were added to its Irish network in the past year and it has maintained a market leadership position in providing infrastructure to new development homes.

Last week, the Competition Authority of Ireland gave Liberty Global the go-ahead to acquire cable operator NTL Ireland for €325m. However, the authority attached 19 conditions governing the combination of NTL Ireland with Liberty and its existing Chorus operation.

Among the 19 conditions is a requirement for a separate board of directors to supervise the day-to-day operations of the combined business of NTL and Chorus, the Limerick-based cable operator that Liberty acquired last year for €55m. The board will feature representatives from UGC, its parent company Liberty and an independent director from a Dublin law firm.

Liberty has been given 30 days to raise objections and make provisions to meet the conditions. After that the only obstacle to the takeover is approval from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin TD.

By John Kennedy