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Results for the half year to 30 September 2018

Press Release   •   Nov 01, 2018 07:00 GMT

BT Group plc (BT.L) today announced its results for the second quarter and half year to 30 September 2018.

Download full results announcement

Key strategic developments:

  • Philip Jansen announced as new Chief Executive from 1 February 2019 – see separate press release on 25 October
  • Nine quarters of successive improvement in customer experience metrics; Group NPS1 up 3.6 points and Right First Time2 up 2.7%
  • Majority of major and a number of smaller communications provider customers signed up to Openreach’s volume related discounts
  • 5G capability demonstrated by EE from a live site in Canary Wharf
  • Initiatives to transform our operating model on track; restructuring programme removed c.2,000 roles in the first half

Operational:

  • Nearly 2m total ultrafast premises passed; Openreach currently building FTTP to c.13,000 premises per week
  • Consumer fixed ARPU up 1% to £38.3, with increased mix of SIM only reducing postpaid mobile ARPU by 0.5% to £22.0
  • Mobile churn remains low at 1.2%; fixed churn increased to 1.6% reflecting the impact of recent price increases

Financial:

  • Reported revenue of £11,588m down 2% and adjusted3 revenue of £11,624m down 1%4 as growth in our consumer business was offset by regulated price reductions in Openreach and declines in our enterprise businesses
  • Reported profit before tax of £1,340m and adjusted3 EBITDA of £3,675m, up 2%4, mainly driven by higher volume and mix of high-end smartphones in our consumer business and restructuring related cost savings
  • Net cash inflow from operating activities of £754m down £1,831m mainly due to £2bn contribution to BTPS. Normalised free cash flow3 of £974m down 22% due to increased cash capital expenditure and timing of working capital movements
  • Reported capital expenditure up £140m at £1,833m due primarily to the increase in BDUK grant funding deferral following take up of Openreach’s volume related discounts
  • Interim dividend of 4.62 pence per share; 30% of last year’s full-year dividend of 15.4 pence per share
  • Overall outlook maintained. Based on current trading, we expect EBITDA to be in the upper half of our £7.3-£7.4bn range

Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, said

“We continued to generate positive momentum in the second quarter resulting in encouraging results for the half year. We are successfully delivering against the core pillars of our strategy with improved customer experience metrics, accelerating ultrafast deployment and positive progress towards transforming our operating model.

“In Consumer, we continue to see strong sales of our converged product, BT Plus, and have seen good mobile sales following new handset launches. Last month EE demonstrated 5G capability from a live site in Canary Wharf. We have maintained momentum in our enterprise businesses despite legacy product declines.

“On 1 October we completed the transfer of 31,000 employees into Openreach, a key part of fulfilling our DCR commitments. Openreach has signed up the majority of its major and a number of its smaller communications providers to its new volume related discounts which should increase average broadband speeds across the UK. We are making positive progress on the key enablers to ensure that we can secure a fair return on our FTTP investment, and are ready to expand the FTTP programme up to and beyond 10 million premises if the conditions are right.

“Our strategy is delivering, with benefits evident from the steps we’ve been taking to simplify and strengthen the business and improve efficiency. Despite increasingly competitive fixed, mobile and networking markets and continued declines in legacy products there is no change in our overall outlook for the full year. Based on current trading, we expect EBITDA to be in the upper half of our £7.3 - £7.4 billion range.”

Q2 results

1 Group NPS measures Net Promoter Score in our retail business and Net Satisfaction in our wholesale business
2 Measured against Group-wide ‘Right First Time’ (RFT) index
3 See Glossary on page 2
4 Measured against IFRS 15 pro forma comparative period in the prior year

Customer facing unit results for the half year to 30 September 2018

Q2 results

1  See Glossary
n/m = not meaningful

Glossary of alternative performance measures

Adjusted

Before specific items

Adjusted EBITDA

EBITDA before specific items, share of post tax profits/losses of associates and joint ventures and net non-interest related finance expense

Free cash flow

Net cash inflow from operating activities after capital expenditure

Capital expenditure

Additions to property, plant and equipment and software in the period less proceeds from disposals

Normalised free cash flow

Free cash flow after net interest paid, before pension deficit payments (including the cash tax benefit of pension deficit payments) and specific items

Net debt

Loans and other borrowings (both current and non-current), less current asset investments and cash and cash equivalents. Currency denominated balances within net debt are translated to Sterling at swapped rates where hedged

Specific items

Items that in management’s judgement need to be disclosed separately by virtue of their size, nature or incidence. Further information is provided in note 6 on page 25

Underlying

Excludes specific items, foreign exchange movements and the effect of acquisitions and disposals. Further information is provided in note 1 on page 32

We assess the performance of the group using a variety of alternative performance measures. The rationale for using adjusted measures is explained in note 1 on page 32. Results on an adjusted basis are presented before specific items. Reconciliations from the most directly comparable IFRS measures are in Additional Information on pages 32 to 34.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global Services and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, BT Group’s reported revenue was £23,723m with reported profit before taxation of £2,616m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com

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