TalkTalk turnaround costs drive annual loss

TalkTalk says its efforts to simplify the business meant it swung to a loss in its last financial year.
The telecoms and broadband supplier reported a statutory pre-tax loss of €73m in the 12 months to 31 March compared to a profit of €70m in the previous year.
TalkTalk, which has been drawn into a price war with rivals such as BT and Sky, the owner of Sky News, initiated a "reset" of the company in 2017 which included a renewed focus on fixed-line growth after a foray into mobile.It said its turnaround efforts were starting to bear fruit with its customer base back in growth during 2017/18.The company also confirmed on Thursday a story by Sky News that it was selling part of its direct business-to-business customer base to privately-owned rival Daisy Group for €175m.
Shares - down 17% in the year to date - rose 11% in early trading as investors digested the update, later settling about 0.17% down.Chief executive Tristia Harrison told shareholders: "When we reset TalkTalk a year ago, we said we would focus on delivering sustained customer growth whilst radically simplifying the business."
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"One year into the strategy, we are making good progress on both."She added: "As expected, our decision to invest in growth has come with short-term implications for EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), but positions us well for FY19, where the benefits of a bigger base, regulatory tailwinds and ongoing cost reduction mean we remain on track for EBITDA improvement of 15% (before Daisy) and headline revenue growth."
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