Feeds

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

Wholesale, Openreach, biz and global services still flagging

Reducing security risks from open source software

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.