By Emma Haslett Friday, 31 January 2014

Goal for BT as profits rise 8%

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

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...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Additional Information

Latest from MT

20 QUESTIONS: Rob Law, Trunki

20 QUESTIONS: Rob Law, Trunki

Best known for being summarily rejected by Dragons' Den, Rob Law's company now turns over £7m a year. He tells us why he originally wanted to call Trunki 'Magma', and why he doesn't trust the UK legal system.

 

MT EXPERT: Why 'seeing' your data is the key to understanding it

 

10 things we learned this week

 

The 7 best tech hubs outside London

 

9 epic gadget fails