Salford’s TalkTalk keeps divi as revenue slips to £1.5bn

Salford-based broadband giant TalkTalk Telecom Group said on Thursday it will maintain its dividend as it published results for the year ended March 31, 2020, showing its statutory revenue slipped 3.9% to £1.569 billion.

Statutory profit before tax was £131 million compared to a £5 million loss in the previous year.

Net debt rose to £954 million.

TalkTalk’s largest shareholder is its executive chairman Charles Dunstone with about 29.8%, while Toscafund Asset Management LLP owns about 28% of the equity.

TalkTalk CEO Tristia Harrison said: “Our FY20 performance has been robust.

“We have grown our fibre broadband base by 34% and grown our headline EBITDA by 9.7%.

“Whilst industry wide voice usage declines and the continued re-contracting of the legacy copper base has led to some revenue decline, this has been more than made up by ongoing cost reduction and simplification.

“The completion of our HQ move from London to Salford and the sale of our Fibre Assets Business to CityFibre for £206m has made us a simpler and more resilient business. 

“Looking ahead to FY21, we remain in a robust operational and financial position, with levers in our control to manage costs further, whilst having not required any furlough or government assistance.

“While the uncertainties of COVID-19 mean we will not be providing formal guidance, based on current trends we would expect to deliver stable headline EBITDA year on year, after assuming a c.£15m COVID-19 impact. 

“We also expect strong cash conversion and will therefore be maintaining the dividend at 2.5p.”