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BT boosted by Sport and fibre broadband

BT's Gavin Patterson

BT’s Gavin Patterson

BT reported a 10% increase in profits at its consumer division during the fiscal first quarter, which it attributed to the “benefit of BT Sport and the take-up of fibre broadband.”

Announcing its results for the three months ending June 30, BT said that within its BT Consumer unit it recorded 26% growth in broadband and TV revenue thanks to the impact of BT Sport.

The operator said that BT Sport – which has the rights to show live Premier League football and Premiership rugby – had a strong quarter with “continued growth” in its residential subscriber base.

More than 19,000 commercial premises, including pubs and hotels, have also now signed up for BT Sport.
In terms of its overall TV customer base, BT said that it started the exchange of legacy set-top boxes in the quarter with new YouView boxes, which resulted in “some TV customer churn.”

BT said it removed 35,000 inactive customers from its TV base in the quarter. Excluding these, it added 40,000 TV customers.

“The second season of BT Sport is about to start with a great line-up of content and it will continue to be free with BT Broadband.  We are building on solid foundations and I am confident we will deliver on our strategy,” said BT CEO Gavin Patterson.

“Our fibre broadband network now covers more than twenty million premises.  We are passing over 70,000 additional premises each week and demand is strong with more than three million already signed up.”

BT said that, including businesses, it added 104,000 retail broadband customers in the quarter – 64% of the DSL and fibre broadband market net additions.

Fibre also continued to grow strongly with 226,000 BT retail fibre broadband net additions, up 15%, taking the customer base to over 2.3m.

Overall, revenues dropped by 2% to £4.35 billion. However, BT said underlying revenue excluding transit – the “key measure” of the group’s revenue trend – was up 0.5%. EBITDA was flat year-on-year at £1.44 billion, while pre-tax profit was up 22% to £546 million.

Separately, BT announced yesterday that BT Sport has secured the rights to broadcast Germany’s home friendly football matches and the rights to the DFB Cup, Germany’s football equivalent of England’s FA Cup.

Tags: BT, BT Sport, UK, YouView