* H1 revenue 828 mln stg, down 2 pct
* H1 core earnings up 6.2 pct to 155 mln stg
* Adds more profitable unbundled customers
* Shares up 11.6 pct
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, Nov 13 Telecoms operator TalkTalk
said it expected to reverse a decline in revenue growth
in this financial year as it expands its product range and adds
more broadband customers on its own network.
The company, which launched a YouView digital television
service in September, said first-half revenue slipped 2 percent
to 828 million pounds ($1.3 billion) and its broadband customer
base fell slightly in the second quarter to 4 million.
However, it added 66,000 more profitable fully unbundled
customers, giving it what Chief Executive Dido Harding said was
the company's best trading quarter for two years.
The company, which competes with BT, Virgin
and BSkyB, added mobile handsets to its line up in the
summer, which along with its on-demand television product, gave
it a "quad play" offer for the first time.
"We've made an encouraging start to both our mobile handsets
business and TV," Harding told reporters on Tuesday.
"TalkTalk customers are increasingly willing to take more
services from us."
Shares in the group rose to the highest level since it
demerged from Carphone Warehouse in March 2010. They
were trading 11.6 percent higher at 208 pence, the biggest
mid-cap riser, by 1216 GMT.
Analysts at Citi said the results were better than expected,
with the 1.7 percent year-on-year drop in second-quarter revenue
an improvement on the 2.1 percent drop in the first quarter.
Second-quarter average revenue per user from customers on
its own network rose to 25.37 pounds from 23.99 pounds a year
Underlying core earnings for its first half rose 6.2 percent
to 155 million pounds.
The company, which sponsors ITV's "X-Factor" show, said it
was adding new TV customers at the rate of 1,000 a day, while it
was also seeing strong demand for its mobile offer.