NTL bullish as ever, claims man in charge


18-02-2002

NTL is not going bust, in fact it is still recruiting in Cambridge and business, the company says, is booming.

Responding to a question about its widely-reported 11 billion debt problem, David Thatcher, the man in charge of home sales in the eastern region, says it will be sorted out within the year.



Meanwhile, he says, broadband sales are soaring, doubling month on month, making NTL the market leader.



'We lost sight of some important things about being a local service provider, but I wouldn't be here if the company was going bust,' Mr Thatcher said.



'It has a very bright future, assuming we can solve the debt problem, and plenty of room for expansion.



'We have a strong budget and big plans. We borrowed too much money to build the house, but it is a beautiful house and we have to persuade people to live in it with us.'



Mr Thatcher, whose CV includes top jobs with Carphone Warehouse and Sky, joined NTL in August as managing director: home, east and south east. Richard Crane, who was the boss in Cambridge is now his deputy.



'Nothing has changed as far as our bullishness is concerned,' Mr Crane said. 'It's just what used to be called investing in market share two years ago is now called debt.'



Even so, realising they had to look after the customers they had, NTL took the decision last year to re-organise, which included losing more than 80 jobs in Cambridge in December.



Most were in sales, but some were due to duplication after a merger with Cable & Wireless.



There are 400 NTL staff in Cambridge, most on Cambridge Research Park in a glistening new building, which includes the call centre, where recruitment is still going on.



Mr Thatcher says no more job losses are planned. But what he really wants to talk about is broadband: 'It's the end of wwwait, the start of frustration-free internet.



'And we have plenty of capacity to grow we are much better at understanding what demand for ground-breaking products will be.'