TalkTalk has passed one million pay-TV subscribers, making it the UK’s fastest-growing television service, adding more customers than all the other pay-TV operators combined.
“Our strategy for growth is delivering,” said chief executive Dido Harding. “We continue to grow faster than all the other UK TV operators put together and are confident that in time, all our customers will take TV.”
Also lifted by a strong performance in its business division, which provides broadband to corporate customers, TalkTalk recorded its first year of revenue growth since demerging from Carphone Warehouse at the end of 2010. Last year, revenues fell by 1 per cent, but TalkTalk has now achieved five consecutive quarters of growth, with revenues for the full year up 3.4 per cent to £1.7 billion. Full-year pretax profits were down from £290 million in 2013 to £213 million this year after TalkTalk invested more than £100 million in the company.
BT took seven years to 7 years to reach the 1 million subscriber mark. TalkTalk has reached that target in just 18 months after relaunching its TV business, using the Youview STB, in autumn 2012.
Nearly a quarter of TalkTalk’s 4.2 million customers now take television, purchasing on average one film per month but also watching free on-demand content from public service broadcasters. By targeting the 18 million homes watching free digital television via Freeview, Harding said she expected to add a similar number of customers this year, taking the base to around 1.6 million.
Television customers increased by 185,000 in the three months to March 31st, an improvement on the previous quarter, and the rate of broadband additions rose slightly to 10,000. TalkTalk also added 24,000 mobile customers and 35,000 homes taking fibre optic broadband.