UK cable and telecommunications giant Cable & Wireless Communications Plc, has launched a 50m pound advertising campaign, and plans to invest 1bn pounds this year in its cable network. CWC is also restructuring the four companies, and re-badging them all to operate under the C&W Communications name. The group was formed from a merger of between cable companies Nynex CableComms Plc, Bell Cablemedia Plc, Videotron and Mercury Communication Ltd in November last year, and is a 52.6% owned subsidiary of Cable & Wireless Plc. C&W Communications is branding itself as a integrated communications company, offering cable television, data-communications services, internet access, local, national and international telephony, and plans to provide other services such as pay-per-view TV and digital-TV in the future. The group has voluntarily released an interim financial statement for the three months ending in June, with no operating profit disclosed, and revenues up 13% on the previous period at 551m pounds. Its interim financial results are due in November. Mercury’s telecoms business accounted for 92% of the group’s revenues. The number of cable users has grown to 652,903, a penetration of 19.15% of the homes its network passes, which chief executive Graham Wallace described as slightly disappointing. The number of telephone users was 772,209 with 22.6% penetration, on the network. Cable and Wireless is also taking a 200m pound merger related charge in the years accounts, and culling 40% of the management, 400 jobs, and a unspecified number of other staff, and selling property and equipment. This is due to duplication of staff and equipment across the four companies. C&W Communications is also spending 1bn pounds to expand its network to pass 600,000 more homes, expanding it to cover 4.2 million homes. This is 70% of the planned 6 million household network, which will be completed by 2001. Cable & Wireless Communications expects to attract 35% of the 6 million customers onto its phone network. Shares have fallen from 3 pounds at flotation in April, to 2.49 pounds and fell 6p on issue of the interim statement.
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