NTL’s Irish operations saw its profit margin for the year ended 31 December 2003 increase to 35pc from 25pc a year ago. Revenues for 2003 increased 21pc to £72.5m sterling, from £59m sterling a year ago. Profits jumped 71.6pc to £25.4m sterling from £14.8m sterling a year earlier.
Across the world, the NTL group saw revenues rise 8pc to £577m sterling in the last quarter and £2.23bn sterling for 2003, driven by continued growth in broadband and telephony services.
In Ireland, revenue growth at NTL was mainly due to increased digital subscribers, the impact of basic price increases in 2003 and the benefits of exchange rates.
Revenues also included an amount of one-off Q4 2003 revenue resulting from a favourable ruling in the Irish Supreme Court regarding Vat rates on the company’s services.
NTL added that the revenue growth was partly offset by a reduction in basic analogue subscribers.
Segment profit increased by 71.7pc to £25.4m sterling due to increased revenues, improvements in bad debt management as a result of a more rigorous credit policy and other operating efficiencies.
In conjunction with the UK, NTL renegotiated a contract with IBM for outsourced IT services, which resulted in reduced rates being charged.
NTL Ireland ended the last quarter with 344,300 residential customers. Digital television customers grew by 11,700 to 71,300 homes, including MMDS users.
Commenting on the results the managing director of NTL Ireland Graham Sutherland said: “We are delighted with the overall financial performance of NTL Ireland in 2003. These robust results show a business that continues to significantly improve revenues and segment profits and we look forward to further network and product investment in 2004, and in particular a focus on broadband and digital TV expansion.”
By John Kennedy