Spending slowdown hits TalkTalk broadband

TalkTalk has reported disappointing broadband subscriptions in its fourth quarter, causing the market to wipe 10 per cent off the share price of parent company Carphone Warehouse.

TalkTalk added 109,000 broadband customers in the last quarter, well below the 128,000 anticipated by analysts, representing a total of 2.7m customers.

The company blamed the results on the "slower consumer environment", but reaffirmed its target of attracting 3.5m broadband customers by March 2010. Carphone Warehouse also claims it remains confident its free laptop offer will help attract broadband numbers, despite a slowdown in spending.

The company is also in the running for Tiscali's UK broadband arm, which could serve to bolster subscriber numbers. However, Carphone Warehouse admits it's not prepared to "buy at any price".

Carphone Warehouse claims profits remain on course for between 215 million and 220m for the year ending March, 5m lower than initial estimates.

The results come as O2 and Carphone Warehouse announce that they are knocking 100 of the price of the 8GB iPhone, with speculation suggesting they are clearing stock for the 3G model in June.