BT revenues plummet as broadband roll-out accelerates

BT’s sales have fallen, despite being ahead of schedule with its broadband roll-out, with Global Services and Retail performing the worst

BT’s sales have fallen across all of its divisions, despite being ahead of schedule with its superfast broadband roll-out.

BT recorded revenues of £4.47bn for the second quarter of 2012 – ending 30 September – which is down 9% from the same period of 2011.

Profit would have remained flat for the communications company had it not incurred a £85m charge from the Court of Appeal regarding its ladder pricing, but this cost led to a 5% fall year-on-year.

The Global Services division was the biggest culprit, with revenues dropping by 12% to £1.76bn and profit down even further, by 18% to £130m.

BT Wholesale dropped revenues by 12% to £861m, along with an 8% profit fall to £280m, while BT Retail and BT Openreach also fell, with revenues dropping 3% and 1% respectively. 

But the latter two divisions did record small growths in profits – 7% for BT Retail and 3% for BT Openreach – bringing in £474m and £582m each.

Ian Livingstone, CEO of the BT Group, focused on the progress his company had made when it came to its fibre roll-out, claiming it was well ahead of schedule and already in over 12 million premises.

“We have delivered another solid quarter of growth in profit before tax, despite the economic conditions and regulatory impacts,” he said. 

“We continue to make significant investments in the future of our business and we are again accelerating our fibre roll-out which we now expect to be available to two-thirds of UK premises by spring 2013 – more than 18 months ahead of our original schedule.”

Livingstone also revealed BT would be hiring another 1,000 engineers to ensure the pace is kept.

“Our confidence in the future of our business is demonstrated by the 15% increase in the interim dividend,” he added, up from 2.6p per share last year to 3p for the first half of 2012.

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