TalkTalk announce small drop in broadband customers
TalkTalk have today announced that they have completed the integration of the Tiscali UK and AOL businesses which has helped the company to achieve synergies of 55%. The integration was not without issues though and as a result, the company saw increased complaints and churn due to the disruption caused. TalkTalk end the financial year in March 2011 with a 4.7% increase in revenue up to 1,765 million, with profit growing by 24.5%, up to 122 million.
TalkTalk saw a small fall in the number of broadband customers again which was caused by a reduction in the number of customers taking up its services. Total customers held at 4.199 million (just over a 0.5% drop). The company now hold a LLU (local-loop unbundled) customer base of 3.607 million, 86% of the total customers, but they are striving to increase this to 93% through work to unbundle 700 further exchanges. 2.751 million of these customers are what is known as "fully unbundled" which means that TalkTalk provide both telephone and broadband services to the customer. 2,007 telephone exchanges have been unbundled by TalkTalk, although the company did not add any in the last quarter.
"During this first year since our demerger we have seen the benefits of our growth and scale being delivered in the form of strong earnings and cashflow growth. From FY 2012 our dividend policy will reflect our progress and the strength of our cash generation, and we aim to distribute 50% of our headline earnings per share as regular dividends.
It has been a year of intense activity for TalkTalk, as we successfully completed the integration of the former Tiscali business, re-focused our strategy, extended our network coverage, and launched a major restructuring to make our business more efficient. These far-reaching changes will enable us to offer a better experience for all our customers, and will build a strong base on which we can continue to grow our revenue and profitability."Charles Dunstone, (Chairman) TalkTalk
A key focus the company are looking to is the launch of YouView which will allow TalkTalk to integrate quad-play services within its customer portfolio bringing customers access to freeview, on-demand catchup servers and also a choice of pay-TV channels. The company see this as a key service which will help drive demand for faster broadband services such as fibre as customers demand high-definition content over the platform. Trials of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology are continuing with BSkyB in an R&D project in North-West London which will provide the company insights in to the potential of FTTH and details of its usage.