BT Group has confirmed the fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure overseen by its network unit Openreach now passes 8.8 million homes and businesses across the UK, including 2.8 million in rural areas. Making the announcement alongside the release of its financial results for the six months to 30 September 2022, BT also revealed that the ‘initial build’ is underway for full fibre on a further six million premises, while noting that its weekly build rate averaged 62,000 premises in the three months to end-September 2022.
Meanwhile, BT said that the number of FTTP connections were ‘ahead of plan’, with the telco confirming that Q2 FY23 saw net additions of 331,000, to bring the total connections over Openreach’s network to 2.4 million, equivalent to a take-up rate of 27%; consumer FTTP connections were said to total 1.4 million, up 50% year-on-year, while ‘Enterprise’ connections were up over 60% annually. Notably, it was reported that 54% of all FTTP orders in Q2 FY23 were from communications providers external to BT Group.
BT also offered an update on the progress of mobile unit EE’s 5G network rollout, stating that coverage had been expanded to a further 14 towns and cities, putting the company ‘on track to hit all [its] coverage targets [for 2022]’. According to the company, its 5G ‘ready base’ (defined as ‘EE consumer customers receiving or capable of receiving 5G network connection from a 5G enabled SIM’) stood at 8.2 million as of 30 September 2022, up from 5.3 million a year earlier. BT also claimed that consumer 5G connection had more than doubled y-o-y, though it stopped short of providing an actual figure.
In terms of key financial metrics, in H1 FY23 BT reported revenue of GBP10.37 billion (USD11.9 billion), up from GBP10.31 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier. According to the company, growth in turnover from its ‘Consumer’ and Openreach divisions had been partially offset by legacy declines in large corporate customers in Enterprise, as well as lower equipment sales and the impact of its disposal of BT Sport. Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA of GBP3.87 billion, marked a 3% y-o-y improvement, on the back of revenue growth, continued ‘strong’ cost control. Reported profit before tax totalled GBP831 million, meanwhile, an 18% annualised decline, which BT said stemmed from increased depreciation from network build and higher specific costs offsetting adjusted EBITDA growth.