Nearly two years after its fanfare-laden IPO The People's Operator (TPOP:AIM) seems miles away from becoming a proper, profit-making business, and it'll be after more funding very soon.

Despite having raised £20m at 130p per share when it floated on 4 December 2014, and recently sealing an extra £1m working capital loan with Barclays, the company admits that it is the 'intention of major shareholders to provide further funds for growth.'

TPO table

To remind you, this is the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that gives a portion of benevolent-feeling customer bills to charity, and a slug of its own profits too. Operating in the UK and now the US, it doesn't actually strip out subscriber numbers in today's half year figures, just ARPU (ave rev per user) and new customer acquisition costs.

UK APRU is £12.42, in the US its $21.88, or £16.85 if we convert it to pounds for simplicity's sake. Revenue is reported up 182%, but to just £1.7m after the 10% charity donation, so I reckon about £1.89m all in. Reasonable estimates would be something like 114,000 UK subscribers on either pay-and-go or pay monthly tariffs, another 28,000-odd in the US.


From this the company ran up a £3.8m EBITDA loss in the six months to 30 June and chewed through £4.67m of cash in the process. Just £3m of the £20m IPO cash is left.

We looked at the business in depth in April 2015 at 130p when the company was worth about £100m-plus and warned against it, repeating our ongoing scepticism later. The bulls have all gone now, so much so that today's results don't spark a jot of movement in the share price, which remains flat at 18.5p. That's a £14.9m market value today, quite the fall from grace.

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Issue Date: 30 Sep 2016