Budget energy supplier Utility Warehouse continues progress

SQUEEZED household budgets have led to a rise in customers at Utility Warehouse, the budget energy and telecoms supplier.

The company, which is listed as Telecom Plus but trades as Utility Warehouse, said yesterday that it had seen a seventh consecutive quarter in which customer numbers had increased by more than 50,000 and that it is confident of meeting market expectations for its financial year.

Utility Warehouse cuts down on costs by not advertising in newspapers or on TV and by operating online, and is thus able to offer cheap deals such as £7.50 per month mobile contracts.

The company said that more than half of its new customers now took at least four services out of gas, electricity, broadband, landlines and mobile contracts. This is likely to lead to higher margins when it reports annual results next month.

Telecom Plus expects to hike its total dividend to 31p, up from 27p a year ago, and that more utility distributors had signed up to the firm, allowing it to reach more customers.

“The sustained increase in the number of new distributors joining the business over the last three months is particularly encouraging, and we anticipate that this will feed through to additional customer and service growth,” chief executive Andrew Lindsey said.