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March 13, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:06pm


By CBR Staff Writer

UK cable television operator Telewest Plc accompanied results for the year to December 31 with the awkward revelation taht its assets may not be worth as much as it thought they were: because of the gallop towards new digital technologies, it has had to adjust downwards the estimated useful economic life of its network assets. Along with its results, Telewest also emphasized the recent developments its proposed range of digital services. The company hopes to introduce new television channels, high speed access to the Internet and Near Video on Demand all by the fourth quarter of 1997. Additional interactive applications are scheduled for arrival in 1998. The company increased revenue 100% since 1995 to 290m pounds, producing a net loss for the financial year of 251m pounds (the equivalent loss after adjustment for US accounting standards being marginally higher at 262m pounds). Stephen Davidson, Telewest Plc’s chief executive promised in August (CI No 2,971) to increase network cover in its franchised area to 64% by December. He also stated his intention to bring the company’s operating cash-flow back into the black by the year end. On the strength of these preliminary results, Telewest Plc has succeeded in achieving its aims. However, the high level of capital expenditure in the year has pushed the total cash outflow up to 386m pounds, despite the introduction of a further 100m pounds of loan finance. The operating loss for the period of 129m pounds is partly due to a 68m pound increase in those depreciation and amortization charges. The company is, not surprisingly, not proposing any dividend.

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