British fixed line incumbent BT has published its financial results for the three- and six-month periods ended 30 September 2014, reporting a marginal increase year-on-year in its key measure of revenue trend. In the first half of the company’s 2015 fiscal year BT generated total revenues of GBP8.737 billion (USD14.65 billion), representing a 2% year-on-year decline, while in the second quarter turnover was GBP4.383 billion (down 2%). However, underlying revenue excluding transit was actually up on an annual in both the second quarter and first half of BT’s fiscal year, by 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at GBP2.885 billion in the six months ended 30 September 2014, unchanged against the corresponding period a year earlier (GBP2.885 billion in the second quarter, up 1% y-o-y). Adjusted profit before tax was GBP1.328 billion in the six-month period, meanwhile, representing a 10% y-o-y- increase, with the second quarter seeing a 13% annual increase to GBP690 million.
In operational terms, at the end of September 2014 BT’s retail broadband subscriber base reached 7.473 million, up from 6.961 million a year earlier. Of note, the company highlighted the continued growth of fibre-based services, revealing that in the quarter to end-September 2014 it had recorded 203,000 retail fibre broadband net additions to bring its total to 2.535 million. Fixed voice lines, however, continue to decline, with BT reporting a total of 9.534 million ‘active’ connections at the end of the reporting period, down by 1.9% y-o-y. IPTV subscribers, meanwhile, were up to 1.045 million at end-September 2014, from 903,000 a year earlier.
Gavin Peterson, BT’s chief executive officer, said of the company’s performance: ‘This was a solid quarter, with results slightly ahead of market expectations as we reduced costs and grew EBITDA … We are delivering on our strategy and our outlook remains unchanged.’