Goal for BT as profits rise 8%

The telecoms company has posted stonking results - particularly when it comes to fibre-optic broadband.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 29 Aug 2014

Yesterday BSkyB was celebrating stronger-than-expected results: now it’s the turn of arch-nemesis BT, which, alas (if you’re BSkyB), has also posted a set of pretty decent numbers for its third quarter.

Well, investors thought so, anyway: shares in BT were up almost 3.5% in early trading this morning, after its results showed revenue had risen by 2% to £4.6bn in the three months to the end of December, while adjusted pre-tax profits rose by 8% to £722m.

All eyes, though, are on BT Sport, the rival to Sky Sports it launched last summer. The company said the service had more than 2.5 million customers during the quarter.

‘We achieved some particularly strong audience figures in December and the exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League that we have won will strengthen the appeal of our proposition,’ added chief executive Gavin Patterson, before presumably thumbing his nose and blowing a raspberry in the direction of BSkyB.

And, apparently, people have finally got the message about fibre-optic broadband: BT Openreach, the division that manages the UK’s telecoms network, took on 339,000 new superfast broadband customers, which is 38% higher than a year ago. It was a ‘record quarter’, it says – of BT’s 7.1 million broadband customers, 1.9 million now have the superfast service. In fact, according to Patterson, there are now ‘18 million premises with access to our fibre’. So its customer base in that respect could grow exponentially.

The company seems to have got another thing right, too: the number of people disconnecting their lines dropped to 70,000, from 173,000 a year ago.

The challenge now is for BT to retain its dominance in a market where its competitors are becoming increasingly antsy about getting ahead. Last week, the Sunday Times reported that Vodafone and BSkyB (them again) were in talks to launch their own nationwide fibre network, worth billions. It’s BT’s move now...

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Upcoming Events

Latest on MT

The business of golf has landed in the rough

The business of golf has landed in the rough

EDITOR'S BLOG: Adidas and Nike are getting out after conditions turned sub-par.

5 point guide to safeguarding your business

5 point guide to safeguarding your business

SPONSORED: Beef up your data security with these top tips.

Cheat sheet: restore your company's reputation

Cheat sheet: restore your company's reputation

The much maligned Sports Direct is opening its doors to the public. How else can you regain your good name?

Uber drivers and cabbies are both set for the scrapheap

Uber drivers and cabbies are both set for the scrapheap

One day the fierce rivalry on London's roads will be consigned to history by self-driving cabs.

Should CEOs resign after a personal scandal?

Should CEOs resign after a personal scandal?

Antonio Horta-Osorio says he won't quit Lloyds after The Sun labels him a 'love rat'.

Was Virgin Trains right to call out Jeremy Corbyn?

Was Virgin Trains right to call out Jeremy Corbyn?

Attacking politicians is seldom a good idea, no matter how far from power they seem.