Subscribers fall as NTL cuts 250 more jobs

LONDON - UK cable company NTL looks set to complete its refinancing and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the end of the month, as revenues and subscriber numbers continued to fall and it cuts 250 more jobs.

Subscribers fall as NTL cuts 250 more jobs

The jobs cuts will come over the next few months as the company reduces its total workforce to 13,000.

The company applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US earlier this year after racking up debts of £12bn. The refinancing will see the company split into two units, NTL UK and Ireland and NTL Euroco, and will also wipe £7.4bn off its debt pile.

News of the impending restructure comes as the company announced a fall in third-quarter group revenue to £617m from £652m a year ago. Subscriber numbers also fell to 2.667m in the third quarter from 2.696m last time.

The knock-on effect saw monthly average revenue per user (Arpu) fall quarter on quarter, down to £39.80 from £40.54 in the second quarter, although it was up 30p on the same quarter last year.

The company blamed the quarter-on-quarter fall in Arpu on the time of year.

"Third-quarter Arpu is typically lower than the second quarter due to a seasonal decline in telephony usage in the summer months," according to a statement.

One piece of good news for the company is that yearly churn, the amount of disconnections to NTL's service, fell to 16.4% from 17.1% in the second quarter.

The company also said that although TV and telephony customers declined, the number of broadband subscribers rose to 380,600 from 275,600 in the second quarter.

Last week, the company announced that former J Walter Thompson chief executive Stephen Carter is leaving his job as managing director of NTL, leaving group CEO Barclay Knapp in charge of the business.

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