Broadband growth drives BT Group profits
Telecoms group BT reports rise in annual profits is driven by broadband and football.
The telecoms giant, BT Group, announced impressive growth in pre-tax profits on the year, which the group said is being driven by attracting new broadband customers. BT claimed it’s securing more new broadband customers than any of its rivals, which could be down to the group securing the rights to screen a number of sporting events.
BT saw a 14 per cent rise in pre-tax profits in the three months to the end of March, when compared with the same period last year. However, in the same period dipped by two per cent.
For the financial year to the end of March 2015, pre-tax profit rose by 12 per cent and annual revenue saw a two per cent slide.
“Profit before tax and free cash flow have both grown strongly and we have delivered or beaten the outlook we set at the start of the year,” said BT chief executive Gavin Patterson.
Football fans flock to broadband
The group also reported a quarterly record of 455,000 new fibre broadband customers in the first three months of the year, which was a 31 per cent increase when compared to the same time last year.
BT has invested heavily in acquiring the rights to screen sporting events in order to win-over British consumers. The most notable move might be when it outbid Sky in the battle for the rights to screen the Champions League next season two years ago.
Meanwhile, Mr Patterson outlined plans to charge a small fee for those broadband subscribers that would like to be able to watch all of the 350 matches, which include the Europa League, although some games will be shown for free.
“We’re pleased to have secured FA Premier League football rights for a further three years, and an extension with Aviva Premiership Rugby for four more years,” he said.
“With exclusive live football from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, we’ll be showing even more top sporting action from this summer.”
BT to merge with EE
It’s welcome news in a busy year for BT Group, after it announced that plans to buy the UK’s largest mobile operator had been finalised. In a move that will create a communications giant, BT will buy EE from Deutsche Telekom and Orange for £12.5 billion in a combination of cash and shares.
Commenting on the deal, Mr Patterson said: “Shareholders approved our proposed £12.5 billion acquisition of EE last week,” and added that they now await regulatory approval.