TalkTalk Q1 revenue falls to £358m, but recovery starts

Salford-based broadband giant TalkTalk Telecom Group said on Tuesday its first-quarter headline revenue slipped 7.5% to £358 million “primarily due to COVID-19 impact” but that June and July has seen a “trading recovery” for the firm.

“We expect ARPU (average revenue per user) to continue to improve through the remainder of the year, driven by growth of Fibre and Ethernet products,” said TalkTalk in a trading update for the three months to June 30, 2020.

The firm said its full-year outlook is now “stable to growing headline EBITDA, strong cash conversion with reduction in net debt.”

TalkTalk CEO Tristia Harrison said: “As the UK’s internet usage continues to soar, our role as the UK’s only scale affordable provider of Fibre broadband has become even more important.

“Given this, we see a positive outlook to H1 and are confident in our full year plan to deliver stable to growing Headline EBITDA with strong cash conversion.

“As with many businesses, we have seen a short-term COVID-19 impact primarily due to lockdown trading restrictions and cancellation of live sports.

“Revenue, Fibre net adds and ARPU trends have all improved in June and July as lockdown restrictions have eased.

“Encouragingly customer payment trends are in line with the pre-COVID-19 period and we continue to see an ever-increasing demand for our higher speed Fibre and Ethernet products.

“We are also pleased to have launched our new ‘Business Grade Homeworker’ packages for consumers and businesses, as the country adapts to working from home for the long-term.

“It is early days, but sales are strong.

“In addition, we are launching our Full Fibre services with Openreach and continuing to sell on the CityFibre Holdings network at scale.

“The last few months have shown that the Government’s ambition to reach UK-wide Full Fibre penetration by 2025 is more essential than ever before.”