BT reports 14 per cent rise in annual profits to £2.6bn

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More than 50,000 subscribers have signed up to BT Mobile following March launch

BT has seen its annual profits rise by 14 per cent to £2.6 billion, but revenues dipped two per cent to £17.8 billion for the year.

The telecoms giant added 121,000 broadband customers during the first three months of the year, 49 per cent of the market share during that period.

It also achieved record Openreach connections of 455,000, up 31 per cent year-on-year, meaning BT has now connected 4.2 million premises.

BT also launched ints MVNO BT Mobile during the quarter and said that it already had more than 50,000 subscribers. The results also confirmed that shareholders had approved its £12.5 billion takeover of EE.

It said it had lowered operating costs by £591 million to £11.8 billion for the year, spurred by an 8 per cent reduction in net labour costs and fees paid to rival telecoms operators.

BT CEO Gavin Patterson said in a statement: “It’s been a ground-breaking year for BT, in which we’ve made some key decisions and announced some major investments to underpin the future growth of the business.

“Profit before tax and free cash flow have both grown strongly and we have delivered or beaten the outlook we set at the start of the year.

“Our performance during the year is reflected in our full year dividend, which is up 14%. Our results and the investments we are making position us well for the future and enable us to increase our free cash flow outlook for the coming year.”Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 11.41.58

Multi-play

The purchase of EE and launch of its MVNO, plus the £960 million it spent on securing rights to show Premier League football games, is part of BT’s ongoing push into offering quad-play services.

CCS Insight director of multi-play Paulo Pescatore said he expects to see an even stronger push into multi-play bundles, especially mobile, in the coming financial year.

“The company has seen a strong and encouraging start to its mobile offering but we expect to see a strong marketing push for its mobile service later in the year,” Pescatore said. “This will be tied in with the new Premier League season, as consumers look to renew their broadband subscriptions to continue receiving BT Sport for free. And, of course, BT will try to up sell users to its Champions League offering.

“It is clear that the company has made some big long term bets and as a result has made itself relevant again. There is undoubtedly a good vibe at BT and lots of excitement. Now it needs to keep on delivering.

“As the telecoms industry continues to evolve, BT is now very well placed to succeed given its existing assets such as fibre, sports rights, extensive Wi-Fi network and in mobile through the acquisition of EE. We believe that competition will intensify as Sky launches mobile next year and others including Vodafone launch their own multiplay offers.”

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