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TalkTalk: 9,000 broadband customers did the walk walk last quarter

Installed base of subscribers will continue to shrink post hack, warns analyst

UK ISP TalkTalk has confirmed 9,000 customers abandoned its broadband services in the first three months of fiscal '17 ended June – and that overall group sales were pretty much flat on the prior year period.

The provider did not release the exact turnover for the period - that comes at the half way point of the year - but it confirmed sales were up just 0.4 per cent.

Profit was undisclosed but the loss in broadband subscribers indicated it was still feeling the fallout from its mega hack in October last year, which hit nearly 157,000 customers.

Fiona Keenan, director at analyst firm Kantar Worldpanel, said the shrinking customer base isn’t surprising. "Our latest research – which covers the second quarter of 2016 – shows TalkTalk has been unable to turn things around.

"Nearly a fifth of TalkTalk customers still want to leave as soon as they can, and its share of new acquisitions is nearly half what it was before last year’s data hack.”

Keenan said she expects TalkTalk’s base to continue to shrink as it struggles to increase their share of new customers.

"BT has benefited more than anyone from TalkTalk’s decline, with 40 per cent of those leaving TalkTalk moving to BT in the months following the data breach," she said.

TalkTalk also lost 23,000 TV customers, however, it added 48,000 mobile customers and 36,000 fibre customers during the quarter.

"We have continued to make good progress with our fibre to the premise (FTTP) trial Ultra Fibre Optic (UFO) in York. The build has passed nearly 11,000 homes to date," said the hard pressed biz.

For its full-year 2016, TalkTalk's profits plunged 56 per cent during to £14m, as it splashed cash updating security and enticing customers to stay by flinging free upgrades at them. Revenue increased 2.4 per cent to to £1.83bn.

During its third quarter TalkTalk reported a loss of £60m related to its major hack in October, attributing the write-off to IT costs and shedding 101,000 customers.

Dido Harding, the chief exec of TalkTalk, was handed £2.8m in salary this year, which is nice. ®

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