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UK ISP TalkTalk Issues Unusually Vague Trading Update for Q2 2015

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 (8:36 am) - Score 641
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ISP TalkTalk appears to have somewhat broken with tradition this morning by issuing a surprisingly vague trading update for the second quarter of 2015, which reveals very little except to confirm that the migration of Tesco’s broadband customers onto their network has “begun well” and should complete over the coming months.

At this point in the year we’d normally be bringing you a much more detailed update on TalkTalk’s quarterly performance (example), complete with subscriber figures, financials and progress on new or future products or business decisions. But sadly there’s none of that in today’s brief trading update.

Instead there are a few fleeting mentions of 3.5% growth in quarterly revenue and a “strong growth in mobile” (they’ve taken a 15% share of the new SIM only market vs 11% in Q4 FY15). Otherwise they also mention the launch of their new FTTP network in York under the Ultra Fibre Optic (UFO) branding (details), but say nothing of its roll-out progress.

So far as quarterly trading updates go, this is pretty bland. A TalkTalk spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk the reason why, “Along with many other companies, and following feedback from investors and analysts, we have taken the opportunity to review our reporting cycle.

Apparently the ISP’s intention is now to provide detailed information at interims and full year results, while going forward their quarterly updates will contain less information on product-specific numbers. It will be interesting to see whether any rival ISPs have adopted the same approach, since it partly relates to a wider tweak in reporting requirements.

In the meantime it probably doesn’t hurt that this change coincides with a possible dip in subscription growth from the usual seasonal student leavers and the departure of their off-net broadband base to little known ISP Fleur Telecom (Daisy Group) for a contingent consideration of £8m (generating a profit on disposal of £5m); see the Q1 results for more (here).

Unofficially TalkTalk will only confirm that the broadband market was softer than seen in recent quarters and so it looks like we’ll have to wait until they release their official H1 results on 10th November 2015 before we get any detail. Meanwhile they’re on track to deliver full year revenue growth of 5%.

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