NTL has achieved its goal of 530,000 digital subscriptions

ntl have released encouraging Q4 operating figures to the end of year 2000. The company achieved its goal of 530,000 digital subscriptions, hoping to achieve 1.25m by year end 2001.

Group Revenue grew more than 350% to £2.6bn from the 1999 figure of £560m. Earnings before interest also more than doubled to £385m. The Broadcast division reported revenues of £148m and earnings of £79m.

The fourth quarter showed a good increase in market share as ntl gained 83,000 new subscribers Market penetration has improved in original ntl areas by 1.7% to 51%, while only gaining 0.5% in ex-Cable&Wireless regions to 29.5%. Churn in all areas is between 1 and 2%.

The consolidation of C&W ConsumerCo into ntl gained momentum in Q4 as the two digital products joined under the 'Digitalplus' banner. 90% of the network is now digital ready. ntl introduced its National Value Proposition in December as a stick to encourage ex-C&W customers to switch to new Digital plus contracts.

Without switching to an NVP package ex C&W subscribers will not receive new channels E4, The Studio, Sky Travel and SkySports.com. Subscribers who do switch suffer as they lose their cheaper C&W telephone package.

Such moves are all part of 'scale economies' expected of the 1999 £8.2bn C&W merger. Barclay Knapp, CEO at ntl, commented, "We continue to use the experience we gained in our prior acquisitions to make the integration of Consumer Co proceed smoothly."

The results suggest that debt-ridden ntl needs to recoup some of its investments. The firm has announced an increase in profit margins from 15-to 24% that will see the price of the base access pack rise from £10 to around £13 in March.

Sky raised its prices in November and ntl is keen to leverage its voice services; top-end ntl channel packages have been price capped at £43- a convenient £3 less than the cost of the full Sky offering and BT line rental.


Published 8 February, 2001 by NMA Staff

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