BT signed up more than 100,000 mobile subscribers in three months


Telecom giant re-entered consumer mobile market in March but announced numbers as part of Q1 results

More than 100,000 customers have signed up to BT’s consumer mobile proposition since it was launched in March.

The telecoms giant said it was “pleased with the progress made” since it re-entered the mobile space three months ago.

The news came as BT revealed its results for the three months ending June 30, with earnings up one per cent to £1.4 billion despite a two per cent dip in revenue to £4.2 billion.

Profits before tax for the first quarter were £694 million, up from £638 million during the same period in 2014.

Capital expenditure grew from £516 million in Q1 2014 to £685 million as BT continued investment in its fibre network, which now reaches 80 per cent of UK premises, according to the provider.

BT CEO Gavin Patterson said it was an exciting time for BT with the rollout of its mobile proposition and the pending £12.5 billion acquisition of EE, subject to regulatory approval. Gavin Patterson

He added: “Our mobile plans have got off to a good start with more than 100,000 consumer mobile customers signed up in the first three months.

“We’re also looking forward to completing our acquisition of EE, which will allow us to create a true UK digital champion, providing customers with greater choice and value and helping to deliver the UK’s connected future.”

Broadband and TV revenue up seven per cent

BT said that strong market-wide demand for its TV and fibre broadband offerings helped to take its fibre customer base to 3.2 million, 40 per cent of its overall base.

It added 85,000 retail broadband customers during the quarter, which BT claims represents 57 per cent of the ADSL/Fibre market in the UK, while altogether 217,000 customers moved or took up fibre.

In the period it spent almost £1 billion on Premier League football rights, BT added 60,000 pay TV customers taking its base to 1.2 million. Audience figures for BT Sport increased by 51 per cent year-on-year.

Patterson added: “We’re launching BT Sport Europe in the next few days, the new home of UEFA Champions League football, which is free for our BT TV customers. We are also leading the way on Ultra HD TV. Our BT Sport Ultra HD channel will be the first live sports channel in Europe offering picture quality four times that of normal high definition.

“We have also invested further in improving customer service and Openreach is running ahead of all 60 minimum service levels set by Ofcom for this year. And we are engaging with Ofcom as part of its Strategic Review of Digital Communications which offers scope for deregulation and the potential to create a more level playing field in pay-TV.

“The investments we are making in our business and customer service are building a strong platform for growth. And our financial results show we’re on track to achieve our outlook for the full year.”

CCS Insight director of multiplay Paolo Pescatore said: ““Overall, this is a modest set of results as BT Consumer continues to stand out with another good quarter of subscriber and revenue growth vs. other segments. ccs_paolo_pescatore_col

“We are now moving into a couple of key quarters for the company as the new Premier League season kicks off, but more importantly sole ownership of the UEFA Champions League rights. In the last week, BT has stepped up marketing quite considerably for BT Sport Europe, as there is a clear opportunity to target disgruntled Sky Sport subscribers.

“The results also reflect an encouraging start to BT’s return to the consumer mobile market. Having added more than 100,000 users within three months it shows that there is a strong appetite among its customers to sign up to more services. This further validates its cross selling strategy, its move back into mobile and with its acquisition of EE, BT will have an extensive retail footprint to showcase a wider range of services.”

BT Business hit by data and VoIP services

Revenue for BT Business arm fell from £762 million in Q1 2014 to £749 million, which BT blamed on a six per cent fall in business call and lines volumes as SMEs and Corporate customers move to VoIP and data services.

EBITDA in the sector remained flat at £240 million, while operating profit fell by £7 million to £190 million.

Revenue for its wholesale division grew by £5 million to £530 million, while operating profit grew by 22 per cent to £82 million.

Infrastructure-arm revenue saw its operating profit grow by 11 per cent to £304 million despite capital expenditure rising from £258 million to £402 million.

BT said Openreach is running ahead of Ofcom’s minimum service level target for the installation of new lines and repairs to existing service. Brought in in July 2014, the regulator tasked Openreach to repair faults within two days of reporting.