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BT profits rise despite revenue fall as broadband push bears fruit

01 Feb 2013
BT has introduced its first 21CN service for global organisations

BT has seen its revenues drop by seven percent for the first three financial quarters of 2012 but still managed to post an eight percent increase in profits thanks to its ongoing broadband push.

The firm revealed that its third quarter earnings revenues fell by six percent to £4.5bn, compared to £4.8bn a year ago. Meanwhile its revenues for the first nine months of its financial year were down seven percent to £13bn.

However, cost-cutting has meant BT was still able to post quarterly profits of £675m before tax and £1.8bn for the first nine months of its financial year - up eight percent compared to the first nine months of 2011.

Chief executive, Ian Livingston, said the increase in profits demonstrated the firm's push on broadband and new digital content is reaping rewards.

"More than 13 million premises can access our fibre broadband and we are passing around 100,000 additional premises every week. Take-up is growing strongly with around 1.25 million homes and businesses now enjoying the benefits of faster speeds," he said.

"This gives us an excellent platform for our push into TV and sport later this year. We have secured attractive new content and world class production facilities at the Olympic Park and are building a strong team."

Livingstone also praised the firm's engineers for their work increasing the firm's broadband network footprint.

BT added 281,000 homes and businesses to its broadband network in the last quarter. A total of 122,000 of these were retail broadband customers.

BT said it now has 13 million fibre premises connected, overtaking Virgin Media, and will have 19 million connected by the time it completes its strategy to have two-thirds of the UK on its fibre services by 2014. This will grow with the addition of rollouts using government money, it added.

The firm's Openreach division posted a decline in revenues decline by two percent based on the same period in 2011. BT blamed this in part on regularity price changes introduced by Ofcom. However, a growth in Ethernet and fibre helped stem the losses.

Overall the division added 48,000 lines to its network and said the growth in its engineering staff has helped rapidly increase the deployment times of new rollouts.

The firm also noted its success in securing deals via the government's Broadband Delivery UK programme. On Thursday it announced another deal worth £36m with Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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