Bell Cablemedia Plc, one of the UK local telephone service and cable television operators going into the grand alliance that will create Cable & Wireless Communications Plc, says that the increase in losses for the year was due partly to higher depreciation and amortization in 1996, while the year earlier results included a gain of 9m pounds from the initial public offering of Videotron Holdings Plc shares. Bell Cablemedia raised its stake in Videotron to about 82% last year as part of the proposed merger of the two companies with Cable & Wireless’s Mercury unit and Nynex CableComms Plc. Bell Cablemedia said customer churn rates, excluding Videotron, fell to 24.2% in 1996 from 27.3% for cable television, while residential telephony churn rates rose to 18.3% from 17.3% as British Telecommunications Plc’s energetic wooing of lapsed customers to come home to mother began to bite. The company said it passed 87,199 homes in the fourth quarter – more than in any other quarter of 1996 – bringing the total number of homes passed in the year to 244,544. Capital expenditure, excluding Videotron, was 200.6m pounds compared with 182.6m pounds in 1995, it said.