British fixed line incumbent BT has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 December 2014, with total turnover for the period down 3% against the same period a year earlier, at GBP4.475 billion (USD7.14 billion). This drop was attributed in part to a GBP49 million negative impact from foreign exchange movements, a GBP26 million drop in transit revenue and a GBP3 million impact from disposals. Underlying revenue excluding transit, the operator’s key measure of revenue trend, was also down year-on-year, falling by 1%, though it said this reflected ‘the timing of contract milestones within BT Global Services which benefited [its] third quarter results last year’. EBTIDA meanwhile increased by 2% against the corresponding period last year to reach GBP1.567 billion, while BT noted that underlying operating costs excluding transit were down 3%, which it said ‘reflected the benefit of [its] cost transformation activities’. Adjusted profit before tax stood at GBP814 million in 3Q 2014-15, up 13% y-o-y.
With regards to its operational activities, BT highlighted that it has now passed almost 22 million premises with its fibre broadband network, representing around three-quarters of the UK’s population. In terms of uptake, the telco said that some 3.738 million homes and businesses are now connected via fibre, while BT itself added 209,00 retail connections in the three-month period under review to bring its retail fibre base to 2.744 million. Total retail broadband accesses meanwhile stood at 7.592 million, up from 7.111 million a year earlier, while IPTV subscriber numbers rose by 14% y-o-y to reach 1.090 million. Active fixed voice consumer lines continued to decline, however, falling to 9.493 million at end-December 2014, from 9.675 million at end-2013.
Commenting on future network development plans, meanwhile, BT chief executive Gavin Patterson revealed plans for trials of higher speed fixed broadband technology, saying: ‘BT has been at the forefront of fibre innovation and investment, from which all communications providers benefit. We aim to keep it that way. So today we’re announcing large-scale pilots this summer of ultrafast broadband with G.fast. We now think we can deploy this technology at scale which will enable us to deliver ultrafast speeds of up to 500Mbps to most of the UK within a decade.’ It is understood that the technology trials will take place in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and Gosforth, Newcastle.