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TalkTalk sees red after chucking £75m on restructuring bonfire

Who wants to buy a phone biz?

By Kat Hall

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Beleaguered Brit ISP TalkTalk's half-year results have plunged into the red, reporting pre-tax losses of £75m due to major restructuring costs.

Sales fell 5 per cent to £856m from £902m the year before.

The firm attributed a chunk of those losses to a £31m bill in associated costs for overhauling its mobile phone business following its announcement in May to "reassess" its mobile strategy.

Net exceptional costs were incurred in relation to decommissioning, asset write-offs, provision releases, onerous supplier commitments and redundancies, said the business.

TalkTalk also took a £59m exceptional charge for costs "associated with implementing changes to the Group's organisational structure under the new leadership team".

Chief exec Tristia Harrison said: "When we simplified and reset the business in May we said our priorities were growth, cash and [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] in that order.

"The first half performance shows we are delivering on that plan. We have now delivered a third consecutive quarter of growth in our broadband base, with both Retail and Wholesale bases growing; returned to on-net revenue growth; and delivered lower churn than a year ago.

"Our clear value proposition is resonating strongly against an uncertain economic environment and underpins our plan to simplify and focus all our investment in delivering affordable, reliable fixed connectivity to both homes and businesses.

"Our revised strategy of focusing the business on fewer, clearer priorities is re-establishing TalkTalk as the value provider of choice in the UK fixed connectivity market." ®

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