BT profits rise in Q4

Profits for BT reached £1.67bn in the fourth quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, a 4% rise from the same period the year before

Profits for BT reached £1.67bn for the fourth quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, showing a 4% rise from the same period the year before.

The number beat expectations from financial analysts, who believed the telecoms firm’s profit would remain flat.

However, revenues across a number of BT's divisions fell, with the overall figure down 2% to £4.78bn for the quarter and down 5% to £18.25bn for the entire year.

“We are doing what we said we would do,” said group CEO Ian Livingston. 

“In an environment where it is easier to focus only on the short-term, we are investing in our future and delivering growth in profits and dividends.”

Broadband has been a particular success for BT, which – including its wholesale offerings – now supplies connectivity to 17.6 million premises across the UK. The number of users moving from copper to fibre services for extra speed was also up, accounting for 1.5 million BT subscriptions.

BT also added 40,000 new customers to its BT Vision service. The company hopes to grow this further after announcing yesterday that free premiership football matches will be made available to broadband subscribers on its sports channels.

“We are driving fibre across the UK, launching high quality sports channels, investing in the high-growth regions of the world and will use our Wi-Fi capabilities and 4G spectrum to make sure our customers will be the best connected,” added Livingston.

The CEO said BT had also created 3,000 jobs over the past year to help support these investments, but predicted profits would remain largely flat over the next two years as the new services rolled out and gained traction.

He concluded: “Our focus on improving efficiency across the business will allow us to continue to deliver strong financial results whilst making these investments.

“We have a lot more to do but we are now a lot better positioned to do it.”

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