BT raises guidance despite 20% profit decline


UK telecoms giant BT has reported an 8% fall in half year revenue, but has raised it’s lower end earnings guidance for the full year.

In a mixed bag set of results, the Openreach provider reported revenue of £10.9bn, down 8% and pretax profit was down 20% at just over £1bn.

The FTSE100-listed firm also paid no dividend to investors for the half year.

BT hit by Covid19

The falls were primarily due to the impact of Covid-19 including reduced BT Sport revenue and a reduction in business activity in our enterprise units, and declines in legacy products.

Despite this, BT said that its full fibre broadband, FTTP, rollout reached record levels in Q2 with a run-rate of 40k premises per week. It said 3.5m premises are now enabled.

It also said that its 5G-ready customer base have exceeded the one million mark and that 5G is now live in 112 towns and cities.

The telco took a bullish stance on the next six months, though, increasing the lower end of its guidance for the full year to a range of £7.3bn – £7.5bn.

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, said: “BT delivered financial results in-line with expectations for the first half of the year, thanks to strong operational performance during exceptional circumstances.

Critical networks

“Customer demand during the pandemic has shown how critical our networks have become, and our significant network investments have helped us double the number of Openreach’s FTTP orders compared to this time last year and have seen our leading 5G network expand to 112 towns and cities across the UK.

“We continue to invest to make BT more competitive and I’m pleased to see the quality of our products and services improving. At the same time we are firmly on track with the delivery of our modernisation programme and have delivered £352m in cost savings in the first half of the year.

“This performance has given us confidence to raise the lower end of our EBITDA outlook range for this year and publish an EBITDA expectation of at least £7.9bn for 2022/23, with sustainable growth from this level forward.

“This growth will be driven by the continued recovery from Covid-19, enhanced by sales of our converged and growth products, and by significant savings from our modernisation and cost saving programme. In combination these factors will more than offset legacy product declines.

“The growth in EBITDA underpins the planned reinstatement of our dividend next year whilst ensuring that we can continue to drive value-creating investments in our networks and products.

BT’s shares were trading more than 6% higher on the London Stock Exchange at £1.07.