Cancellation of live sports leads to short-term fall in TalkTalk's revenue

THE cancellation of live sports due to the pandemic was one of the factors behind a contraction in short term revenue for TalkTalk.

Tristia Harrison

TalkTalk Telecom Group has provided a trading update for the three months to June 30 2020.

The company's headline revenue, excluding Carrier and Off-net, was £358m, compared with £387m in the same period the year before.

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The group said the contraction was primarily due to the impact of COVID-19, which included trading restrictions and cancellation of live sports, and ongoing industry-wide declines in voice usage exacerbated by the lockdown.

Tristia Harrison, the chief executive of TalkTalk, commented: "As the UK's internet usage continues to soar, our role as the UK's only scale affordable provider of Fibre broadband has become even more important. Given this, we see a positive outlook to H1 and are confident in our full year plan to deliver stable to growing Headline EBITDA with strong cash conversion.

"As with many businesses, we have seen a short-term COVID-19 impact primarily due to lockdown trading restrictions and cancellation of live sports.

"Revenue, Fibre net adds and ARPU trends have all improved in June and July as lockdown restrictions have eased. Encouragingly customer payment trends are in line with the pre-COVID-19 period and we continue to see an ever-increasing demand for our higher speed Fibre and Ethernet products.

"We are also pleased to have launched our new 'Business Grade Homeworker' packages for consumers and businesses, as the country adapts to working from home for the long-term.

"It is early days, but sales are strong. In addition, we are launching our Full Fibre services with Openreach and continuing to sell on the CityFibre Holdings network at scale. The last few months have shown that the Government's ambition to reach UK-wide Full Fibre penetration by 2025 is more essential than ever before."

In 2018, TalkTalk revealed that it had launched a new company called FibreNation, which will roll out fibre to up to 60,000 homes in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon.

TalkTalk also recently revealed that it had become a member of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme.

The company said that the move reinforced its commitment to growing the economy in the North of England.

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