BT’s TV and broadband business including the BT Sport Europe launch, has helped drive group revenue, which is up two per cent according to the company’s second quarter financial results. BT added 106,000 BT TV customers which marked its strongest performance ever.
Many of BT TV’s new customer addition can be attributed to the group winning the rights to the UEFA Champions League, as group stage matches began at the end of the quarter. Broadband and TV revenue was up 17 per cent and Openreach broadband revenue up two per cent, with growth in fibre broadband partly offset by regulatory price changes. However, its business divisions have performed less well, with BT Global Services suffering ongoing declines in the UK (though a stronger performance was seen in continental Europe) and BT Business underlying revenue remaining flat.
BT’s operating costs were up three per cent, due in part to a higher pensions operating charge and its investment in BT Sport Europe.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) yesterday provisionally approved BT’s £12.5 billion acquisition of EE, and will publish its final decision by 18 January 2016. BT said that the acquisition brings it ‘a step closer to creating a true digital champion to serve the UK’ and ‘will accelerate our existing mobility strategy’. BT described its mobile division as a ‘growth area’, and reported adding ‘more than 200,000 consumers’ since its launch in March.
BT has a firm focus on fibre broadband going forward, with Given Patterson, BT’s chief executive commenting, “Fibre broadband is a success story and we continue to invest heavily to help the UK remain a broadband leader among major European nations.” Its fibre network passes 24 million premiss, with plans to get ultrafast broadband to ten million premises by the end of 2020. Fibre net additions were up 21 per cent, which brings the number of homes and businesses connected to five million.