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NTL Telewest gives birth to Virgin Media

Cable firm NTL Telewest will be re-branded Virgin Media early next year, the company announced Wednesday.

NTL, which bought British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin mobile phone business last year for £1bn confirmed that Virgin Mobile will continue as a separate brand but remain part of the Virgin Media group

NTL also announced its Q3 results Wednesday and as expected, posted losses as it battles to get the new company into shape for 2007.

As part of that process, NTL conceded that it needed to shed the reputation it had built in the UK for poor customer service. Virgin presented the ideal solution as the Branson brand enjoyed a reputation for excellent customer service and reliable provision. NTL said it had injected £5m to “help accelerate this transformation” ahead of the Virgin Media launch.

Steve Burch, president and chief executive officer at NTL said: “Virgin Media will shake up the market by bringing the Virgin traditions of value-for-money, brilliant customer service and innovation to the world of entertainment and communications. While work remains to be done between now and the re-brand, our decision to announce its name and logo today is a reflection of my confidence that we’re well on the way to creating an organisation that can live up to this vision by consistently putting the consumer first.”

Gordon McCallum, chief executive officer of Virgin Management Limited and ntl Board member added: “Taking on the Virgin brand is about much more than a new name and logo above the door. ntl Telewest’s management team has consistently demonstrated that it understands this and the commitment that’s needed to succeed. Much has already been achieved and we’re confident that the company’s on track to deliver the Virgin promise when we re-brand next year.”

NTL recorded net losses of £96.1m from £52.1m for the same period last year. Revenues more than doubled to £1.02bn.

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