Q1 trading in line with expectations
We delivered another quarter of good growth in the on-net base (+20k vs a 9k decline in Q1 FY17) with growth in both our Consumer and Wholesale bases. We also reduced on-net churn, which fell to 1.2% during the quarter (Q1 FY17: 1.4%)
In Consumer we continued to see strong demand for our Fixed Low Price Plans (“FLPP”), with both re-contracting and new acquisition activity driving the total number of customers on FLPP to 1.3m by the end of the quarter.
This growing in-contract base is continuing to contribute to improvements in churn, with early life churn from customers signing up to FLPP significantly lower than that from new customers a year ago. Take-up of the 24 month plans has also continued to be strong, with over a third of FLPP customers choosing the longer term price certainty that these plans offer. Similarly we have continued to see strong demand for fibre with nearly 40% penetration of the FLPP base. Triple play and quad play penetration remained stable during the quarter, with TV net adds continuing to improve, both amongst re-contracting and new customers.
Once again, we saw strong growth in the TalkTalk Business Ethernet base, with 2,000 new lines added, taking the total installed base of data connections to 44k.
Group revenues (excluding Carrier) declined by 3.2% year-on-year during the quarter. Strong growth in Corporate and Wholesale broadband revenues was offset by a decline in Consumer revenues resulting from the smaller average on-net base and the dilutive effect of re-contracting activity. These effects are expected to moderate as the base grows, and we drive fibre take up and other products such as TV. As a result we continue to expect full year revenues to grow.
Our FY18 guidance remains unchanged, with base and revenues expected to grow year on year, improving free cash flow, and EBITDA of £270m-£300m. H1 results are expected to be released on 15th November 2017.