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Telecom plus PLC Confident Of Record Half-Year Results

Teletelecomplus.tepcom Plus (LSE: TEP) — which trades as Utility Warehouse — this morning issued a trading statement for the first half to 30 September 2014, in which it reported continuing strong organic growth, and says that it looks forward to announcing record results for the half-year ahead in November. The company’s share price is up 6.8% at the time of writing.

The company says that its customer numbers rose by 6.5%, increasing by almost 35,000 to just over 565,000, and that it remains on track to achieve its target of adding 70,000 new customers over the full year.

Underlying churn has continued to fall, which the company says reflects the steady and continuing improvement in the quality of its customer base, underpinned by a focus on delivering “exceptional customer service”.

Telecom Plus says that it anticipates adjusted pre-tax profit and earnings per share for the half-year that are “significantly ahead” of the comparable period last year. The board says that its “comfortable” with forecasting an almost 50% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit, taking it to a record £63m, and that it expects to increase the interim dividend by 19%, to 19p  per share. It added that shareholders can look forward to “continuing progressive” growth in the level dividend payouts. 

The company also announced the appointment of a new finance director. Nick Schoenfeld —  currently group finance director of  private company Hanover Acceptances, which has holdings in  food manufacturing, real estate, and the agri-business sector — will join Telecom Plus in the new year.  

Prior to his role at Hanover Acceptances, Mr Schoenfeld was responsible for group financial planning and analysis at Kingfisher plc, prior to which he held senior strategic and development roles at French DIY company Castorama (acquired by Kingfisher in 1998) and the Walt Disney Company,

Commenting on current trading, CEO Andrew Lindsay said:

I am pleased with the continued healthy organic growth we have seen in customer and service numbers during the first half of the year; we are confident that we can build upon this strong performance and look forward to announcing record half yearly results in November.”

“With a UK market share of less than 2%, and a unique approach to the way we attract and look after our customers, we face the future with considerable confidence.

Despite this morning’s rise, at 1,342p, Telecom Plus’s share price remains 4.4% down on this time last year, against the background of a 1.4% fall in the FTSE All-Share index. However, over the longer term Telecom Plus is trouncing the index, with a rise of 318% over the past five years, compared with the All-Share index’s gain of only 27% in that time.

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Jon Wallis has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.