Profits plunge in ‘challenging’ year for BT | Major Businesses | Business
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The UK’s incumbent telco BT has shown in its latest annual results that rolling with corporate punches over the last few months has dented the company’s finances.

bt champions league 6 March largeFor the quarter ended 31 March 2017, BT posted revenues of £6.122 billion, a 10% annual rise leading to a yearly total of £24.062 billion, itself an impressive rise of 27%. Yet on an annual basis, profits tumbled both in the fourth quarter and for the full year. For Q4 profits before tax were £440 million, a fall of 48% yearly, and £2.354 billion, a slip of 19%.

The quarter also saw a 7% increase in broadband and TV revenue and consumer 12-month rolling ARPU increased 8% to £39.90 per month driven by broadband, BT Sport and mobile. It has also seen growth of 3% in the number of revenue generating units per customer, which is now at 1.95. During the quarter, BT added 11,000 new customers, taking its base to 1.7 million. BT Sport said that its average annual audience figures, excluding Showcase and digital channels, increased 12% during the year.

Despite some disquiet over viewing figures for the élite European club football tournaments, BT Sport reinvested this year in exclusive UK rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for three more years.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Gavin Patterson said: “This has been a challenging year for BT. We’ve faced headwinds in the UK public sector and international corporate markets and must learn from what we found in our Italian business. We aspire to be the UK’s digital champion. To achieve this, we’re ready to invest in the UK’s digital infrastructure, in continued improvements in our customer service, and in new technologies to further enhance customer experience. To that end, Openreach has today announced that it’s consulting with customers and industry stakeholders on the business case that could support better rural broadband and a largescale fibre-to-the-premises rollout across the UK.”

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