Upon the news, BT shares rose 6% in early trading
BT, Britain’s largest broadband and mobile provider, has today published its half-year results, revealing revenues of £10.4 billion and profits of over £1 billion.
Adjusted EBITDA rose 6% to £4.1 billion (up 4% on a pro forma basis), and profit before tax increased 29 % to £1.1 billion.
The results also revealed an acceleration in BT’s fibre rollout across the UK, as its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) build rate accelerated to 66,000 premises per week, reaching a quarter record of 860,000 premises passed.
Openreach also saw strong customer demand for FTTP, with net additions of 364,000 in Q2, bringing take-up rate to 33%.
The news follows the launch of “new EE” in October, which comes after the UK incumbent announced in April last year that EE would gradually become the “flagship brand for consumer customers”, while BT would become the main brand for the Enterprise and Global units.
“We’ve strengthened our competitive position with the launch of both New EE and our renewed strategy in Business, and Openreach has now built full fibre broadband to more than a third of the UK’s homes and businesses with a growing connection rate,” said Phillip Jansen, BT CEO.
“Our transformation programme has now delivered £2.5bn in annualised savings, well on track to meet our £3bn savings target by FY25.”
It is important to note that BT increased prices by 14.4% in March this year, and put a stronger focus on cost-cutting, announcing that it will aim to cut roughly 55,000 jobs – around 40% of its current workforce – by the end of the decade, citing the need for more streamlined operations and digitalisation in today’s tough economic climate.
Jansen said that the growing role of AI would reduce the number of network engineers needed by around 10,000, with AI-related automation could replace an additional 10,000 jobs.
This time last year, the firm also increased their savings target from £2.5 billion to £3 billion by 2025.
“This was a decent set of results,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Matt Britzman, speaking to Reuters. “Given the pressure shares have been under of late, investors should be relatively happy.”
Jansen’s tenure at BT is almost at an end, being replaced by Allison Kirby early next year. “BT Group has a bright future and I’m pleased to be handing the baton to Allison Kirkby early in the new year,” he added. “She knows the sector, she knows the company and she’s the right person to lead BT Group from this position of operational strength,” said Jansen.
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