O2 UK: scope for outperformance near-term, solid results thereafter

O2 has managed to deliver a solid financial performance over the past several quarters in spite of network constraints which are now resolved 

With signs that they are becoming more assertive in the market, and with continued brand strength and low churn, there is scope for that performance to hasten from here

Over the medium to long term, turnaround plans from the other MNOs could thwart outperformance by O2 but with an holistic culture of leading-edge marketing and innovation, we expect at least sustained solid results 

TalkTalk stabilising, but strong growth evasive

TalkTalk had very solid Q2 and H1 results, with broadband net adds staying positive, high speed net adds accelerating, revenue growth above 3% and EBITDA rebounding back to growth

This was helped at the revenue line by a price increase in the quarter and in EBITDA terms by steep Openreach price reductions, with strong revenue growth and any EBITDA growth hard to replicate once these effects have annualised out

HFSS TV watershed idea should be put to bed

The ban on pre-9pm TV ads for HFSS (high in fat, salt or sugar) products being considered by the Government would not play a constructive or quantifiable role in reversing the UK’s rising childhood obesity rates. 

The ban on HFSS product ads since 2008 around children’s programming has not impeded the inexorable rise of childhood obesity. In 2010, Ofcom termed an HFSS watershed ban ‘disproportionate’ and ‘ineffective’. 

Refocus imperative at Vodafone

Vodafone’s deteriorating financial performance is as much due to an increasing margin of underperformance relative to its peers as to challenging markets such as Italy

A strategic refocus on operational performance is long overdue and seems largely sensible, save for the continued push for discount-led convergence products which are driving underperformance

Although Vodafone posted 3% organic EBITDA growth for H1 of this year and is guiding to same for the full year, we view this definition as overly flattering with true EBITDA performance flat and revenues in decline

The Telegraph

26 November 2018 - 12:50pm -- Claire O'Brien

Matti Littunen commented on Mark Zuckerberg's refusal to testify before a "grand committee" on Facebook's role in spreading fake news. Matti said this increased demand for testimony could be one reason behind Facebook's hiring of Sir Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister, as its new head of global affairs. "Facebook will be forced more and more to face public grillings by politicians," he said. "There is a big difference in hiring a politician as opposed to a lawyer or a lobbyist who is used to working behind the scenes".

Financial Times

22 November 2018 - 10:12am -- Claire O'Brien
Douglas McCabe was quoted in the FT on advice books written by millennial women for peers who are trying to navigate a working life. Douglas observes that criticisms of older career books echo “the criticism that many executives make about MBA programmes today — that there is too much focus on business principles and case studies from before, say, 2000, when the business world started to be turned upside down”

Virgin Media Q3 2018 results - Cautiously accelerating growth

Virgin Media’s revenue growth accelerated in Q3, off the back of improved subscriber ARPU and triple play growth, but actual customer and broadband figures slowed in line with the weakening market

Network roll-out was still (deliberately) slow, with the rate now well below the previous year, and the company indicating that it is not expecting to accelerate, although it is still the fastest new network builder in the UK by some margin


16 November 2018 - 4:09pm -- Claire O'Brien
Douglas was quoted in Campaign on the decision by Shortlist Media to close ShortList – the biggest men’s magazine in the UK. Douglas McCabe, chief executive of Enders Analysis, said: "Stylist has proved that the men's magazine market and the men's advertising market is much tougher than the women's market."

The Telegraph

13 November 2018 - 10:07am -- Claire O'Brien
Claire Enders was quoted in The Telegraph on ITV’s plan to challenge Netflix with its own streaming service. Claire said “Even if a reboot between the BBC and ITV were this time to be approved, we do not think Kangaroo 2 can succeed as a significant subscription video on demand entrant in its home turf of the UK, above all because it’s too late.”


12 November 2018 - 2:22pm -- Claire O'Brien
Claire Enders was quoted in Campaign on Global, Britain’s biggest commercial radio group and how it is transforming UK out of home, taking the market from six main players to four and creating a new powerhouse with about 32% share, just behind JCDecaux on 36%.Global’s track record in radio since buying GCap in 2008 suggests it will grow the medium, rather than seek share. Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis, says Miron deserves credit: "It’s an enduring strength of Global to have a CEO who is very, very good at sales."


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