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NTL boss Knapp quits

As Q2 losses narrow

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NTL boss Barclay Knapp is to quit his job after claiming that his work bringing the cableco through its recent reorganisation is now complete.

Although he will step down formally on Friday, to be replaced by COO Simon Duffy, the NTL chief exec will continue working at the company until the end of the year. He will advise on strategy.

In a statement, Knapp said: "With this quarter's positive results and the favourable conditions I see ahead for NTL, I believe my mission in bringing NTL through its reorganisation has been accomplished.

"I want to again thank all of our customers, suppliers, stakeholders and most of all - our associates [that's NTL speak for employees] - for not only another quarter of great results, but also a whole decade of wonderful experiences and personal growth for me," he said.

Of course, the idea that the last decade was full of "wonderful experiences" may jar with some industry watchers following the company's recent "turbulence" such as Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, job losses, etc.

According to a leaked Knapp memo last year: "When the telecoms markets first nose-dived back in 2000, I likened the experience to having a window blow on a jetliner at 25,000 feet."

"Although it's controllable, you have to almost crash-dive the plane to below 10,000 feet so that at least you can keep breathing. And because of the steps we've taken, even though we've flown through a heck of a lot of turbulence, we're still breathing and the plane's still in one piece. The same can't be said for some of our competitors," said Knapp.

News of Knapp's departure coincided with cableco's Q2 results to the end of June, which saw revenues slightly up on last year at £551.3 million ($886.82 million).

Net loss for the quarter ran in at £159 million ($255.77 million) - down 38 per cent compared to Q2 last year - thanks to improve profit and reduced interest payments.

NTL managed to attract a further 103,300 broadband punters over the quarter bringing the total number of high speed Net access customers to 764,200.

As of 3 August, the cableco had more than 802,000 broadband customers, the company reported today. ®

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