Satellite radio broadcaster XM Satellite Radio Holdings has said its first-quarter net loss widened, but revenue tripled as its subscriber base grew.

According to Reuters, XM reported a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $US172.4 million, or 96 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $124 million, or $1.26 a share.

The latest figure includes higher costs related to subscriber growth and a non-cash deferred tax charge of $25.6 million, XM reportedly said, but Janco Partners analyst April Horace told the news agency she was impressed by the company’s reduction of per subscriber costs for signing new subscribers by 32% to $106.

“Its a good quarter for them,” Horace reportedly said, adding: “Its a good indication of management beginning to execute.”

Reuters said XM, like its smaller rival Sirius Satellite Radio, sees the addition of its radios in new cars by manufacturers as a key growth area – General Motors, which has a 5.3% stake in XM, is its biggest partner.

GM and another partner Honda Motor will make 1.5 million vehicles in total with XM radios installed in 2005, up from 1 million in 2004, the company told the news agency.

Revenue in the quarter was $43 million, up from $13.1 million and the company added 321,675 net subscribers in the quarter to end with 1.68 million subscribers, Reuters said.