It is now two years since we reset TalkTalk. We said at the time that we would create a simpler, lower cost business, focused on fewer priorities. We undertook to grow the customer base and, over time, improve the underlying profitability of the business.
We also said this was a long term strategy that would take time.
Two years on, I am very confident that our strategy is the right one and I am proud of the progress we are making.
It has not been easy, but we are gradually changing the fundamentals of this business. After several years of decline, the customer base is growing again. We have untangled ourselves from complex, non-core products and are now focused on our strength – fixed connectivity.
And we have rediscovered our mission as the challenger, with a fairer business model that does not rely on overcharging existing customers to offset cheaper deals for new ones. This business is always at its best when we offer something different from our rivals, rather than mimicking them. Creating pricing parity for new and existing customers certainly cost us initially, but we have now absorbed much of that pain and are now starting to see the benefit, with a bigger, happier and more loyal customer base. It was the right thing to do, for customers and the business.
That progress has been hard won, but it means this business is turning the corner. Having tackled our weaknesses head on, we are now a healthier business, better able to deliver the sort of earnings growth we know we are capable of.
In the year ahead we will continue to focus on the priorities outlined above and our move to Salford over 2019 is a milestone in TalkTalk’s history. Bringing our teams together, in one location, will I hope, lead to a re energised, leaner and more effective business.
As ever my sincere thanks to the loyal and very hard working members of TalkTalk. They really do their very best for the business and I am proud to be their Chairman.
Sir Charles Dunstone