TalkTalk narrows annual loss on subscriber gains, lower costs and increased fibre penetration

24 May 2019

British broadband provider TalkTalk has published its preliminary results for the financial year ended 31 March 2019 (FY2018/19). For the twelve-month period under review TalkTalk reported a total revenue of GBP1.609 billion (USD2.04 billion), broadly unchanged from the GBP1.605 billion it recorded in the previous year. Total revenue excluding turnover from carrier and off-net services was up 2.2% year-on-year, however, at GBP1.544 billion, while on-net revenue totalled GBP1.263 billion, representing annualised growth of 3.9%.

Headline EBITDA for the telco’s most recent fiscal year stood at GBP237 million, up from GBP203 million, with this 16.7% increase said to have been driven by ‘a larger average [subscriber] base, increased fibre penetration and a materially lower cost base’. Meanwhile, TalkTalk reported a statutory operating profit of GBP47 million for FY2018/19, reversing a GBP44 million loss in the previous financial year. Although it did record a statutory loss before taxation of GBP5 million, after GBP42 million of non-headline costs associated with reorganising and simplifying the business, this too represented an improvement on the GBP100 million pre-tax loss reported for FY2017/18.

With regards to operational highlights, TalkTalk noted that uptake of fibre-based broadband connectivity had accelerated in the year to end-March 2019, with it recording 490,000 net adds for such services in the year, and a record 152,000 new fibre subscribers in the closing quarter. An overall customer base growth of 150,000 – down from an increase of 192,000 in the previous financial year – brought the company’s closing base to 4.289 million. Churn was said to remain relatively low at 1.20% in FY2018/19, while group on-net ARPU was reported to have stabilised at GBP24.98 per month, compared with GBP25.06 previously.

United Kingdom, TalkTalk (incl. FibreNation)