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Carphone Warehouse Broadband Subscribers Decline to 2.7m

Posted: 15th Jan, 2009 By: MarkJ
The Carphone Warehouse (TalkTalk, AOL etc.) has released its latest interim quarterly results to the end of December 2008. Sadly its total broadband ADSL subscriber base appears to have declined from 2.8m in the previous quarter to 2.7m now:

TalkTalk Group revenues were down 2% to £347m (2007: £355m). Residential revenues fell 2% to £275m, reflecting the decline in the non-broadband base, offset in part by rising broadband ARPU and customer numbers.

The broadband base was 2.7m at the end of December 2008, with 36,000 net adds during the quarter. The TalkTalk base continued its good momentum, adding 73,000 customers over the last three months, while the AOL Broadband base continued its expected decline, with 37,000 net disconnections. Broadband market growth continued to be subdued, but we believe TalkTalk in particular is well positioned at the value end of the market as consumers become increasingly cost-conscious. Churn at TalkTalk continued to be very low.

Broadband ARPU was up 5% year-on-year at £23.13. We unbundled a further 91,000 customers during the quarter, taking the total unbundled base to 2.1m or 78% of the broadband customer base.

The news was not unexpected because previous quarters had already been showing relatively flat broadband subscriber growth. Naturally the group CEO, Charles Dunstone, remains characteristically optimistic:

"I regard these figures as a very creditable performance in an extremely challenging environment. We have grown our retail market share, thanks to great products, competitive pricing and an excellent effort by our people. Our broadband business continues to make good progress, with churn falling and ARPUs rising. The ever-improving quality of the service, combined with its clear value proposition, positions the business well for the year ahead."

Certainly Carphone are not the only broadband provider to suffer in this climate, with both Orange and Tiscali UK taking similar hits. Mind you, it’s not all about the economy; general market saturation has also played its part.
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