Positive start for BT Sport helps BT Group plc achieve growth in second quarter 2013

BT 'ultra-fast' broadband
Communications services company BT Group PLC, which serves customers in the UK as well as in over 170 countries globally, announced today that its financial results for the second quarter ending 30 September 2013 were boosted by two million customers signing up to its BT Sport TV service, which was launched in August this year.

BT Sport TV service is provided to customers watching via satellite, BT TV, online or via the app. The company also signed a contract with Virgin Media during the quarter, which increases the reach of BT Sport to about 4 million households.

The company reported that its profit before tax for the second quarter was GBP609m, a growth of 2%. Earnings per share also grew by 2% at GBP0.06. However the company’s reported profit before tax decreased by 10% to GBP499m. (which includes specific items)

BT mainly provides fixed-line services, broadband, mobile and TV products and services as well as networked IT services. Its fibre broadband network has been implemented in 17 million UK buildings in the UK and over 2 million homes and businesses are currently using the company’s fibre-based services. BT’s Openreach, which deploys the company’s superfast fibre broadband, saw its best ever quarter for fibre take-up with a 70% increase in net connections. The number of its retail fibre broadband customers also increased by 24%. Its base now stands at around 1.7 million.

According to BT, the UK broadband market increased by 12% compared to the same period in 2012 and the company’s share grew by 92%. In addition the reach of fibre to rural areas is being extended and the company has won 44 regional contracts, with fibre already being implemented in 13 of these.

Gavin Patterson, BTs chief executive officer, commented: “These are good results, with growth in earnings per share and free cash flow.

“This has been our strongest ever quarter for fibre take-up with Openreach net connections up 70%. Our fibre network now passes more than 17 million premises. It is open to all and many other service providers have now got behind it.

“BT Sport has made a confident start and is already delivering for viewers. More than two million of our customers are signed up to it and our wholesale contract with Virgin Media means it is available to around four million homes in total. It is also delivering for the business, helping us achieve a record 93% share4 of broadband net adds in the quarter, our lowest line losses for five years and 4% revenue growth in our BT Retail Consumer business.

“BT Retail’s Business division again saw good growth in IT services while BT Global Services and BT Wholesale both generated strong order books.

“I feel privileged to be the new CEO of BT and am determined to build on the strong foundations that are already in place. These are exciting times for the company and we are determined to deliver our strategy with energy and discipline.”

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