British fixed line incumbent BT Group reported its financial results for the financial year ended 31 March 2011, with the telco revealing pre-tax profits had surged by 71% year-on-year to GBP1.7 billion (USD2.79 billion). Despite a 4% annual decline in revenues, which fell to GBP20.076 billion, BT pointed to cost savings of around GBP1.1 million as having helped the company’s bottom line, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the twelve month period were GBP5.886 billion, up 4% against the previous year.
Increased subscriber numbers for the telco’s broadband services also helped to offset continued declines in fixed voice accesses, with retail fixed line customers falling to 10.448 million at end-March 2011 from 11.113 million a year earlier. Broadband subscribers meanwhile stood at 5.691 million at the end of the company’s financial year, up from 5.132 million and representing a 10.9% y-o-y increase. Further, BT claimed that, as well as consolidating its position as the country’s largest broadband provider by subscribers, it had seen its highest quarterly share of xDSL broadband net additions in the past eight years.
Commenting on the results, Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT, said: ‘We have delivered profits and free cash flow ahead of expectations for the year, while making significant investment in the business for the future. Free cash flow has nearly trebled compared with two years ago … We expect to continue to grow our profits and free cash flow whilst investing to return BT to growth. These results show we are making progress, but we are well aware there remains a lot more to do.’