Feeds

Chucking cash at sport and broadband starts to pay off for BT

Wholesale, Openreach, biz and global services still flagging

Intelligent flash storage arrays

BT shares climbed three per cent this morning off the back of decent end-of-year results from the one-time national telco, which saw its sales growth outshine market predictions.

But, despite being buoyed by its unexpected achievement of flat revenues of £18.3bn as well as a six per cent rise in adjusted pre-tax profit of £2.8bn for the year ended 31 March, some of BT's divisions continued to witness sagging sales.

The former state monopoly's wholesale wing recorded the biggest revenue drop, falling 7 per cent to £2.4bn from £2.6bn a year earlier. It blamed regulatory meddling from Ofcom relating to the migration of services off a previously terminated contract.

Openreach, meanwhile, reported flat sales down 1 per cent to £5bn for the full year. Once again, BT pointed the finger at the UK's communications watchdog by saying that price changes had a "negative impact of around £260m" in the past 12 months.

But the company added that growth in its fibre broadband sales, particularly in its final quarter, had helped offset Ofcom's interference.

BT told the City that it had now deployed its fibre to over 19 million premises, most of which are being served the technology via a street-side cabinet that then connects the property to the internet over the firm's existing copper wiring.

As the only supplier in the race for taxpayer-funded subsidies, BT has now won 44 Broadband Delivery UK rollout contracts. It said that Openreach had reached more than 630,000 premises, predominantly with its Fibre-to-the-cabinet tech to date.

During the fourth quarter, BT said Openreach added 217,000 DSL and fibre connections to its broadband service, a decline of 24 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier. It blamed repair work due to the floods in the country at the start of 2014 for shifting engineers' focus away from new installs.

In July 2013 BT's new boss Gavin Patterson split the telecom giant's retail division into two distinct wings: consumer and business. Previously, its retail division had suffered somewhat because biz numbers were included in its quarterly reports.

Now that Patterson has sliced those units into separate entities, its newly created consumer wing is on the up with revenue for the year climbing 4 per cent to £3.8bn. Its biz unit, on the other hand, reported flat sales of £3.5bn for the 12 months ended 31 March.

BT's boss said:

Our rollout is ahead of schedule with our fibre network passing more than 19 million premises, around two thirds of the UK. But we are not stopping there. All of our BDUK projects are underway and will help take the coverage of all fibre networks to at least 90 per cent of the UK, bringing significant benefits to communities across the nation.

BT Sport has proved very popular and we are delighted the service is now in around five million homes. For BT Consumer it underpinned a record 9 per cent growth in revenue in the fourth quarter and the lowest line losses in over five years. We achieved an excellent 79 per cent share of broadband market net additions in the quarter.

BT's total retail broadband base is now just shy of 7.3 million Brits, the company said. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.