UK-based BT Group has issued its trading update for the nine months to 31 December 2020, revealing a 7% year-on-year drop in revenue, which it said was ‘due primarily to the impact of COVID-19 on Consumer and [its] enterprise units, ongoing legacy product declines and divestments of domestic businesses in Spain, Latin America and France’.
For the nine months under review, the company generated a total turnover of GBP16.058 billion (USD21.9 billion), down from the GBP17.246 billion reported in the corresponding period a year earlier. Adjusted revenue from its ‘Consumer’ unit totalled GBP7.494 billion in the nine-month period, down 5% y-o-y from GBP7.895 billion, while the ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Global’ both also saw declines in turnover, to GBP4.086 billion (9M FY20: GBP4.445 billion) and GBP2.823 billion (GBP3.280 billion), respectively. Network arm Openreach, meanwhile, generated revenues of GBP3.898 million in the nine months to 31 December 2020, a marginal increase from GBP3.817 billion a year earlier. Furthermore, profit before tax reached GBP1.591 billion for 9M FY21, representing an annualised drop of 17%, while profit after tax was down 16% y-o-y at GBP1.276 billion. BT Group’s capital expenditures totalled GBP3.030 billion in the period under review, compared to GBP2.877 billion in 9M FY20.
In operational terms, BT Group was keen to highlight its ongoing fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout, confirming that its network now reaches a total of 4.05 million premises, up from 3.50 million just three months earlier, and compared to 2.16 million at the end of 2019. According to the operator, it remains on track to pass 4.50 million premises with FTTP technology by the end of March 2021. Also of note, BT Group confirmed that its mobile subsidiary EE has now deployed 5G connectivity in a total of 125 locations, while saying that its ‘5G ready’ customer base had increased to more than 2.1 million by end-2020.