TalkTalk expects 2018 earnings dip as it cuts dividend

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TalkTalk has said it expects to report lower earnings in the next financial year despite returning to revenue growth as a result of a revamped strategy under the new management team.

The broadband company revealed a new strategy aimed at boosting growth and cutting its debt. The dividend was cut for the year to March to 10.29p from 15.83p and will be lowered to 7.5p this year as the company looks to reduce its debt ratio.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation grew to £304m from £270m during the 12 months to March, but TalkTalk said the figure would fall to between £270m and £300m in 2018 as it invests in customer growth.

TalkTalk also took a step back in its mobile ambitions as it abandoned its “inside out” strategy to use spectrum it owns to build a small cell network based on customer premises.

Sir Charles Dunstone, who has taken a more ‘hands on’ approach as executive chairman with the exit of Dido Harding as chief executive, said:

My focus for the company is growth, cash generation and profit ­ in that order. We will be smart about how we invest, focusing on our fixed network, avoiding other capital intensive distractions.

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