Mark Schneider is to stand down as chairman and chief executive of UPC, the troubled company that is Europe's largest cable network operator. His move follows the announcement of second quarter results that sent the shares on another slide.

The company reported an improvement in its operational result, but the overall figures were hit by a one off loss of Euros300m charge relating to its Priority telecoms division. That pushed the group's net after tax loss to Euros863m.

The company reported a loss before interest, tax and depreciation of Euros54m in the three months to June 30, compared with a loss of Euros61m in the first quarter of the year. It forecast that at the operating level it would achieve profitability in 2002.

Significantly, the cash it is to receive from Canal Plus from the merger of its Polish satellite TV operations, will reduce the group's funding problems. Net debts are estimated to have dropped to Euros7.0bn, compared with Euros7.2bn at the end of March.

Schneider, who is expected to return to live in the US, will stay on until a successor is found.

At 1430 GMT, the shares had dropped 2.5% to Euros1.13 from Euros1.16 at yesterday's close.