TalkTalk Telecom Group reiterated its guidance for the next financial year, despite revealing its annual profit halved, partly as a result of a cyberattack the company suffered late last year.
In a statement released on Thursday (12 May), the FTSE 250-listed company said in the 12 months to the end of March that its pre-tax profit fell from £32m ($46.1m, €40.4m) to £14m after it booked £83m worth of exceptional items.
On a headline basis, excluding exceptional items, the company reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £260m ($375, €330), slightly up from the £245m recorded in the previous year.
The surge in exceptional items, which offset a slight increase revenue from £1.80bn to £1.83bn, was largely attributed to a £42m related to the cyberattack the telephone provider suffered in October 2015 and restructuring costs.
Despite the cyberattack - which jeopardised customers' banking details, names and addresses and account information - the London-based company said customers' sentiment towards the company has improved over the last six months. As a result, TalkTalk said it recorded the lowest level of churn – the number of customers who discontinue a subscription – in the fourth quarter in its history.
"The business bounced back strongly in the final quarter following the cyberattack in October," said group chief executive Dido Harding.
"We recorded our lowest ever churn and stabilised the broadband base, testimony to the speed with which customer sentiment towards TalkTalk has recovered."
Harding added TalkTalk's overhaul programme has so far delivered £21m in savings during the year, and expects to make a further £35m to £40m in savings in the year ahead.
The company, which reiterated its guidance for revenue growth in its current financial year, with headline EBITDA in a range between £320m and £360m, proposed a dividend of 10.58p, taking its total dividend to 15.87p, compared with the 13.80p it paid in 2015.