TV succeeding for TalkTalk despite losses

Oliver Smith
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TALKTALK fell into the red during the six months to 30 September as the telecoms operator invested in new customer growth and yesterday dismissed battles over TV sports rights as “not our fight”.

The strategy appears to have been successful. TalkTalk boasted yesterday an additional 167,000 TV customer signups in the last quarter alone, putting the company on track to have nearly a million viewers by next March, despite a £9m loss during the period.

TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding dismissed the recent furore over TV sports as little more than a distraction from TalkTalk’s huge TV wins in the quarter.

“We added 167,000 TV customers in the quarter. That’s more than Sky, Virgin and BT put together, so despite all the noise about sports, actually our value-for-money TV business is growing very much faster than all of them,” said Harding.

Revenue at the group grew 1.8 per cent to £843m during the six months with revenue growth forecast increasing at least three per cent from a previous two per cent, reflecting price rises in October and confidence in TV momentum.

TalkTalk’s shares rose nine per cent yesterday to close at 272.8p.