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New customers spending even more on TV, phone and Net services have helped NTL increase revenues, the cableco reported today.

NTL - which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2003 - added 58,400 new punters during the three months to the end of December, taking its total customer base to 2.87m.

During this time the number of (ahem) broadband customers rose by 84,600 to 949,200. Yesterday, the cableco announced it has now racked up more than one million broadband punters.

Take-up of NTL's content bundle - "Broadband Plus", unveiled last November - has also proved popular. As of today 43,000 customers have signed up to the service.

All this has helped make execs at NTL feel rather chipper. "Broadband growth for 2004 is targeted at 25-30 per cent, reflecting continued industry-leading penetration of our existing customer base and further penetration within our marketing area," said NTL in a statement.

Over the year, NTL increased the number of triple play customers (those punters who take telephone, TV and high speed Internet services) by 58.4 per cent to 591,300 - up from 373,300 at the end of 2002.

Average Revenue per User (ARPU) went up to £41.96 in Q4, an increase of £1.93 compared to a year before.

Said the cableco: "ARPU growth continues to be driven by the growth of our broadband and DTV businesses and by the migration of telephony customers to premium 'Talk Plan' packages."

Here are the big numbers. For the three months to the end of December 2003, revenues increased by 8.1 per cent to £576.7m ($982.7m) from £533.4m ($839.1m) for the same period of 2002.

At the same time, NTL's net loss fell by 78.5 per cent to £130.2m ($223.9m), down from £604.9m ($931.3 million) in Q4 '02, helped by a reduction in debt charges.

Revenues for the full year were up 2.6 per cent to £2.23bn ($3.6bn) from £2.17bn ($3.26bn) in 2002. Net loss for 2003 was down 63 per cent at £583.6m ($954.2m) from £1.58bn ($2.37bn for 2002). ®

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