BT Sport revenue falls puts brake on BT Q1 | Major Businesses | Business
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Even though more people than ever in the UK have relied upon the resiliency of its networks during the period, BT has reported a challenging first quarter of its 2020/2021fiscal year.
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For the quarter ended 30 June 2020, BT Group posted revenue of £5.248 billion, down 7% annually, primarily due to the impact of Covid-19 and also due to reduced revenue BT Sport as Premier League and Champions League football was postponed until July. It also suffered from a reduction in business activity in its enterprise units.

Reported profit before tax was £561 million, down 13%, due to reduced EBITDA, higher interest expense, and higher depreciation and amortisation charges partly offset by the gain on disposal of the firm’s Spanish telco operations. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was £1.813 billion, also down 13%, driven said BT by the fall in revenue and continued investment in customer experience. This was said to be partly offset by Covid-19 mitigating actions and savings from a business transformation programme that BT has been working towards over the past two years.

Looking at individual lines, in the consumer division, the company was hit by strong Covid-19 headwinds. In the quarter, the company said that with limited sport to broadcast, revenues from both residential customers and pubs and clubs declined. Trading was also impacted by the closure of retail stores, although increased digital transactions and improved churn provided some mitigation. BT warned that despite the resumption of Premier League and Champions League football to UK screens, Covid-19 continued to impact the consumer division.

BT’s Openreach division provided better news with its FTTP build programme was on track and that service levels had been maintained. Revenue growth year on year was driven by higher rental bases in fibre, up 19% annually, and Ethernet, up 10% year on year, partially offset by a decline in legacy products and price reductions, reflecting the impact of Openreach’s volume-related discounts.

Openreach EBITDA grew by 2% year on year, with revenue growth partially offset by higher operating costs. The quarter was affected by Covid-19 driving lower churn between providers in the market, which reduced provisioning and upgrade activity. Take-up of FTTP was also impacted during the early part of the lockdown. BT said this has now accelerated, with 10,000 orders received in a single week in June, mainly from BT’s consumer unit.

However, as he assessed the quarterly results and state of the company in these unprecedented times, BT chief executive Philip Jansen warned that he expected to see further impact from Covid-19 in future quarters. “We reached an important milestone with 3 million FTTP premises now passed, welcomed Ofcom’s consultation on our rural FTTP build proposal, and have now deployed 5G to 100 towns and cities. Together with continued improvements in customer experience and our modernisation programme, we are positively positioned for the future,” he remarked.

“Although uncertainties remain, we are now able to provide an outlook for this financial year. Despite our strong operational performance in the first three months of the year, it is clear that Covid-19 will continue to impact our business as the full economic consequences unfold. Beyond this year and based on current expectations, we expect to return the business to sustainable adjusted EBITDA growth, driven in part by the recovery from Covid-19."