TalkTalk upbeat after solid first quarter

Phones firm TalkTalk has reported rising first quarter sales

TALKTALK has posted rising first quarter sales and said it expects to bag 150,000 new customers this year as the telecoms group continues with its turnaround.

The firm booked a 4.1 per cent increase in first quarter revenue to £382 million, helped by strong growth in its broadband customer base, which saw 80,000 net additions, taking the total to 4.2 million.

While it represents a slowdown from the 109,000 it added in the previous quarter, the figure is much higher than the 20,000 recorded in the same quarter last year.

Sales in the period consisted of £309 million in consumer, wholesale and B2B broadband income, which was up 3.7 per cent year-on-year.

TalkTalk also flagged an ongoing low level of churn - the rate of customers moving to another provider - at 1.28 per cent.

The company said that it is on track to deliver at least 150,000 net adds this financial year, adding that it expects to meet full year guidance of 15 per cent earnings growth.

Chief executive Tristia Harrison said: "After resetting the business last year, we are now a much simpler, lower-cost business."

The group has been undergoing a restructure following a major cyber attack in 2015, which saw the personal data of nearly 160,000 people accessed by hackers.

Last year TalkTalk dived into the red with annual losses of £73 million after counting the cost of its overhaul.

The firm said £119 million of costs from its turnaround plan and restructure left it nursing the loss, which compared with profits of £70 million the previous year.

But on Tuesday Ms Harrison struck an upbeat tone: "As our strategy to be the UK's leading value provider of fixed connectivity continues to deliver, we are on course to report headline revenue growth, stable average revenue per user and a 15 per cent year-on-year increase in headline EBITDA.

"Alongside the core business we continue to make good progress on our plans for full fibre (FTTP)."

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