Sep 20, 2019

TalkTalk chair Dunstone raises stake

TalkTalk's first-quarter update in July revealed headline revenue growth of 1.3 per cent to £387m. Headline revenue rose by 2.6 per cent to £317m. The group maintained its full-year outlook, guiding towards strong cash profit growth fuelled by fibre penetration and cost reduction plans. Perhaps in a bid to shore up confidence - or after identifying a buying opportunity - executive chairman Charles Dunstone purchased 9.9m shares between September 6 and 10, worth about £10m and taking his stake close to 30 per cent. We learnt later that shareholder The Capital Group's position in TalkTalk had shrunk from 9.5 per cent to 4.8 per cent on September 11. So should investors be concerned that just weeks after chairman Tony Pidgley banked £37m in shares in the group he founded, chief executive Robert Perrins has sold shares worth almost £12m? Given that Mr Perrins - who has been at the helm for around a decade - receives about two-thirds of his annual remuneration in shares, some semi-regular selling would seem par for the course. He also retains a stake of around 0.84 per cent of the group's £5.2bn share capital.

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