BusinessCompany NewsFD says Telewest has 15 month lifeline

FD says Telewest has 15 month lifeline

Charles Burdick, finance director at struggling telecom Telewest, says the cable TV, phone and internet group has enough cash to survive for 15 months.

He claimed the company is in a better position than its rival NTL, which filed for Chapter 11 protection yesterday.

Burdick said: ‘We have good medium-term liquidity and we have options, and that is an important difference.’

The news of its cash position follows results for the first quarter which showed underlying earnings up 34% at £91m. Total turnover edged up 4% to £334m, with revenues in the consumer arm up 11% at £227m.

At the same time Telewest said its engineering arm would bear most of the brunt of its 1500 job cuts, while its consumer and business divisions will be merged in a bid to save cash.

But at this point the company is not clear about where the cuts are going to be made. Chief executive Adam Singer says no geographical breakdown of the job losses could be given.

Most of the job cuts are going to be through voluntary redundancy and Singer hoped to keep compulsory redundancies to ‘an absolute minimum’.

More than 500 jobs have already gone through natural wastage at the group, which has its main offices in Woking, Birmingham, Edinburgh and London.

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