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TalkTalk cuts 580 jobs as sales remain flat

Alex Scroxton

TalkTalk is to cut 580 jobs in a "major reorganisation" of its business operations as the integration of Tiscali continues.

The cuts will come as part of a restructure that should see the business save £25m per annum. Most are expected to hit in operations and IT as the firm seeks to reduce duplicated roles arising from the 2009 acquisition of Tiscali.

The assimilation of Tiscali has been causing TalkTalk other problems, and third quarter sales at both its consumer and business arms were flat after 25,000 subscribers upped sticks following problems with migration that left some with no internet access and others facing higher bills.

Speaking candidly to the FT, chief executive Dido Harding compared the business to a "teenaged octopus" that had grown too fast and didn't have full control of all its limbs.

Harding said: "The integration programme has caused some customer disruption, but provides a strong platform for us to deliver a better experience ... and enables us to drive further efficiences across the business."

Total sales across the business were £444m, up from £443m in Q2 and down from £446m this time last year.

Its b2b unit Opal, which was quietly rebranded as TalkTalk Business on 1 February, made sales of £80m in the three months to the end of December, down 2% sequentially and 1% year-on-year.

TalkTalk said this was due to normal seasonality in the SME market, as well as an ongoing decline in voice revenues, which offset growth in data services.

TalkTalk Business says it has signed up over 30 resellers since launching Ethernet services to exploit the capabilities of its next-gen network last year.


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