BT records operating profit increase in H1 2019 despite revenue decline

2 Nov 2018

UK-based BT Group has published its financial results for the six months ended 30 September 2018, revealing revenue declines at all of its customers facing units bar ‘Consumer’. For the period under review BT’s reported revenue stood at GBP11.588 billion (USD14.9 billion), down 2% year-on-year, while adjusted revenue was GBP11.624 billion (down 1% y-o-y). With regards to the overall revenue drop, BT noted that growth in its consumer business – which generated turnover of GBP5.272 billion in the first half of its current fiscal year, up from GBP5.127 billion a year ago – had been offset by regulated price reductions in network unit Openreach and declines in its enterprise businesses. Meanwhile, for H1 2019 BT’s reported profit before tax was GBP1.340 billion, up from GBP1.084 billion a year earlier, with adjusted EBITDA at GBP3.675 billion, up 2% y-o-y; growth in these metrics, the company said, had been driven mainly by ‘higher volume and mix of high-end smartphones in our consumer business and restructuring related cost savings’.

In terms of reported operational highlights, BT revealed that almost two million premises are now passed by the fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network being rolled out by Openreach, with the latter reportedly reaching an average 13,000 new premises a week with the technology. According to BT, current deployment costs for FTTP are ‘continuing to come in at the lower end of expectations’. Openreach is also reportedly continuing to expand the availability of G.fast technology, with nearly 1.3 million premises now passed by that technology. Meanwhile, although BT continues to provide no information on the number of direct subscribers signed up to mobile arm EE, it did reveal that a total of 3.728 million MVNO customers were being served over the cellco’s infrastructure at end-September 2018, up from 3.684 million a year earlier.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), EE