British multi-service operator TalkTalk recorded what it said were ‘it’s best ever results for mobile, TV and fibre’, with the telco’s total turnover rising by 4.2% year-on-year in the quarter ended 31 December 2014 to GBP449 million (USD711 million). On-net revenues again accounted for an increased percentage of that total, standing at GBP334 million, up by 4.4% against the third quarter of the telco’s 2013-14 fiscal year, and representing just over 74% of the group’s turnover, compared to around 70% two years earlier. With on-net revenue growth said to have been driven by both increased subscriber numbers and improved average revenue per user (ARPU), off-net revenues by contrast continued to decline, falling to just GBP21 million (down 27.5% y-o-y), and now accounting for just 5% of TalkTalk’s total turnover, down from 7% in the final three months of 2013.
Year-on-year ARPU development meanwhile was said to reflect ‘the benefit of pricing activity and new product penetration, off-set by the mix impact of wholesale customers and promotional investment’. As such, on-net ARPU stood at GBP27.05 per month in 3Q 2014-15, up from GBP26.79 per month in the corresponding period a year earlier.
TalkTalk’s fully unbundled broadband subscriber base was increased by 52,000 in the quarter, though its legacy partially unbundled and off-net bases were reduced by 29,000 and 8,000, respectively, meaning total net adds for the period under review were 15,000. At the end of December 2014 TalkTalk’s total broadband subscriber base stood at 4.236 million, up from 4.186 million a year earlier. Looking ahead, meanwhile, the company confirmed its acquisition of Tesco’s broadband and voice base after the end of the reporting, and with this said to include around 75,000 broadband and 20,000 voice connections it claimed this deal will ‘enable [it] to leverage further the superior scale and economics of our national network’; these customers are expected to be brought onto the TalkTalk network during the first quarter of the company’s next fiscal year (which starts in April 2015).
Mobile also proved to be a highlight, and with the company having struck a new multi-year commercial MVNO agreement with Telefonica UK (O2) in November 2014, it said this represented ‘a major step forward in our plans to build a scale and profitable quad-play business’. As per the agreement TalkTalk will have access to its network host’s 4G infrastructure. In uptake terms, at the end of December 2014 398,000 customers had taken up a mobile plan from TalkTalk, up 53% year-on-year from 260,000, while the company has said it expects continued acceleration through the remainder of the year.