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BT Group H1 Pre-tax Profit Down 20%; Lifts Low End Of FY Adj. EBITDA Outlook Range

Telecom company BT Group plc (BT_A.L,BT) reported Thursday that its first-half profit before tax was 1.06 billion pounds, down 20 percent from 1.33 billion pounds in the year-ago period.

Profit after tax also fell 20 percent to 856 million pounds from 1.068 billion pounds a year ago. Basic earnings per share declined to 8.6 pence from 10.8 pence last year.

Adjusted EBITDA was 3.72 billion pounds, down 5 percent from 3.92 billion pounds in the prior-year period due to lower revenues, partly offset by sports rights rebates, savings from the company's modernisation programme and other cost initiatives including Covid-19 mitigating actions.

Revenue for the quarter declined 8 percent to 10.59 billion pounds from 11.47 billion pounds last year. The decline in revenue was primarily due to the impact of Covid-19, including reduced BT Sport revenue and a reduction in business activity in the company's enterprise units, and declines in legacy products.

The company said that no interim dividend has been declared for the current year.

Looking ahead, BT Group raised the lower end of its adjusted EBITDA outlook range for fiscal 2020/21 to 7.3 billion pounds. The revised outlook range is now 7.3 billion pounds to 7.5 billion pounds, compared to the prior outlook range of 7.2 billion to 7.5 billion pounds.

The company projects adjusted EBITDA of at least 7.9 billion pounds for fiscal 2022/23. The company noted that the growth in EBITDA underpins the planned reinstatement of its dividend next year, while ensuring it can continue to drive value-creating investments in its networks and products.

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