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BT Group Q3 Profit Declines

BT Group Q3 Profit Declines
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2/1/2013 5:06 AM ET

BT Group Plc (BT: Quote, BT_A.L) Friday reported a lower third-quarter profit, reflecting certain specific charges as well as revenue decline in all lines of business. The British telecom giant noted that its underlying revenue trend continues to be impacted by tough conditions in Europe, regulatory price reductions and lower revenue from calls and lines.

Ian Livingston, chief executive stated, "Our fibre plans are helping to make the UK a broadband leader in Europe. More than 13 million premises can access our fibre broadband and we are passing around 100,000 additional premises every week. Take-up is growing strongly with around 1.25 million homes and businesses now enjoying the benefits of faster speeds. This gives us an excellent platform for our push into TV and Sport later this year." In the third quarter, the company's profit before tax declined to 628 million pounds, from 652 million pounds in the previous year. On an adjusted basis, pre-tax profit totaled 675 million pounds, compared to 628 million pounds last year.

Earnings per share were 5.9 pence, lower than 6.0 pence per share a year ago. Adjusted earnings, excluding items, were 6.3 pence, while it was 5.8 pence per share in 2011.

Specific items resulted in a net charge after tax of 38 million pounds in the quarter, while it was a net credit of 15 million pounds in the prior-year quarter.

Revenues for the quarter slipped 9 percent to 4.36 billion pounds, which included impact of certain regulatory decisions which have been treated as a specific item. Revenues, excluding specific items, were 4.51 billion pounds, down 6 percent from the year-ago quarter.

BT Global Services business adjusted revenues dropped 8 percent, and BT Retail revenues were down 3 percent from last year. Revenues from BT Wholesale and Openreach decreased 9 and 2 percent, respectively.

BT Group's total broadband market net additions grew 7 percent to 281,000, of which it added 122,000 retail broadband customers, a 44 percent share.

In London, BT Group shares are currently trading at 260.98 pence, up 12.12 pence or 4.88 percent, on a volume of 11.94 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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