TalkTalk predicts profits could fall by a tenth after revenue decline


Last 12 months has seen telecoms provider lay down solid foundations for future growth says CEO

TalkTalk is predicting profits for the current financial year could fall by a tenth after seeing revenue drop in the last 12 month period.

The telecoms provider saw this figure decline three per cent in the year ending March 31 on a like-for-like basis to £1.83 billion, with on-net revenue slumping from £1.39 billion to £1.34 billion.

Profits had grown 17 per cent to £304 million, but the company is expecting this to fall to £270 million in the forthcoming financial period. TalkTalk added 22,000 customers while the churn rate fell from 1.64 per cent to 1.4 per cent.

Its corporate division saw sales increase 3.4 per cent to £397 million, driven by a 31 per cent surge in data revenues. Plans were outlined to add 993,000 customers in the group’s new financial year, presented in its new Fixed Low Price Plans.

The group suffered a cyber attack in 2015 where 157,000 customer details were compromised, costing £42 million in damages. The telecoms provider was later fined a record £400,000 in 2016 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

New priorities

TalkTalk Group chairman Charles Dunstone said: “My focus for the company is growth, cash generation and profit – in that order. We will be smart about how we invest, focusing on our fixed network, avoiding other capital intensive distractions.

“In light of these new priorities, we have also decided to reset the dividend as we look to deliver growth and strong sustainable shareholder returns over the long term.”

Solid foundations

Chief executive Tristia Harrison (pictured), who took over from Dido Harding in February, said: “The last 12 months have seen the business lay down solid foundations from which to drive sustainable base and revenue growth in both our Retail and B2B businesses.

“This will allow us to build upon our core strength as a value for money fixed line connectivity provider as we focus on delivering growth, improving our customers’ experience, investing in and future-proofing our fixed network, and driving operational efficiencies across the business, whilst being more disciplined and smarter with our assets.”