BT Group unveils rise in annual and fourth quarter profits

BT Group's annual pre-tax profit was up 11 per cent on the previous year as the telecoms company kept a tight rein on costs.

BT Group's annual pre-tax profit was up 11 per cent on the previous year as the telecoms company kept a tight rein on costs.

The company, which Thursday revealed it would offer free sports channels to broadband customers, saw profit for the 12 months to end of March come to £2.6bn despite a 5.0% year-on-year fall in revenue to £18.2bn.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) climbed 2.0% to £6.1bn and earnings per share increased 12% to 26.6p.

In the first three months of the year, pre-tax profit jumped 21% to £833m while revenue dropped 2.0% to £4.7bn. EBITDA grew 4.0% to £1.6bn and earnings per share rose 22% to 8.3p.

Chief Executive, Ian Livingston, said the company was working to improve its long-term profitability.

"In an environment where it is easier to focus only on the short-term, we are investing in our future and delivering growth in profits and dividends," he said.

In an effort to steal customers away from competitors, the group is offering its sports channels, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN, free to any BT broadband consumer.

The channels will broadcast live and exclusive football matches from multiple leagues along with FA Cup ties, the UEFA Europa League, Scottish Premier League and WTA women's tennis.

"We are driving fibre across the UK, launching high quality sports channels, investing in the high-growth regions of the world and will use our wi-fi capabilities and 4G spectrum to make sure our customers will be the best connected," Livingston added.

"We have created around 3,000 new jobs in the UK over the last year to support these investments."

Net debt at the end of the financial year came to £7.7bn, a reduction of £1.2bn compared to last year, despite the increase in investments.

The company proposed a full-year dividend of 9.5p, a 14% rise on the previous year.

RD

Recommended

The MoneyWeek Podcast: picking stocks is fun, but you need to do your homework
Investment strategy

The MoneyWeek Podcast: picking stocks is fun, but you need to do your homework

John Stepek talks to Steve Clapham, investor, analyst and author of The Smart Money Method, about the dangers in picking individual stocks and why you…
8 Apr 2021
BP looks set to return more money to shareholders as it beats expectations
Energy stocks

BP looks set to return more money to shareholders as it beats expectations

Oil major BP is to embark on a share buyback programme after significantly reducing its debts. Saloni Sardana looks at what it means for your portfoli…
6 Apr 2021
Deliveroo has hit the market – but it’s not getting the warmest welcome
UK stockmarkets

Deliveroo has hit the market – but it’s not getting the warmest welcome

Food delivery company Deliveroo made its debut on the stockmarket this morning. But with the share price sliding by 30% straight away, it’s not made t…
31 Mar 2021
Three stocks to buy now that will come back stronger after Covid-19
Share tips

Three stocks to buy now that will come back stronger after Covid-19

Professional investor Ed Wielechowski of Odyssean Capital, chooses three compelling stocks that should thrive in a post-pandemic world.
29 Mar 2021

Most Popular

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it
Bitcoin

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it

The cryptocurrency’s price has soared far beyond its fundamentals, says Matthew Partridge. Here, he looks at how to short bitcoin.
12 Apr 2021
Four investment trusts for income investors to buy now
Investment trusts

Four investment trusts for income investors to buy now

Some high-yielding listed lending funds have come through the crisis with flying colours. David Stevenson picks four of the best.
12 Apr 2021
Central banks are rushing to build digital currencies. What are they, and what do they mean for you?
Bitcoin

Central banks are rushing to build digital currencies. What are they, and what do they mean for you?

As bitcoin continues to soar in value, many of the world’s central banks are looking to emulate it by issuing their own digital currencies. But centra…
8 Apr 2021