BT has said it is finding new ways of working through the pandemic as it released its half year results.
Adjusted earnings for the period to 30 September were £3.7 billion, a fall of 5%, half-year revenue fell by 8% to £10.6bn and pre-tax profit was down 20% to £1.1 billion.
The group now expects EBITDA before items such as restructuring costs, to be between £7.3 billion and £7.5 billion in the year to March, down from £7.9 billion last year.
The company said the drop in earnings was due to the pandemic, with its BT Sport division hit particularly hard due to the decline in live sport, and that it had delivered £352m in cost savings in the first half of the year.
BT said that its roll-out of fibre broadband had reached record levels of 40,000 premises a week in the second quarter. In total, it has now provided fibre networks to over 3.5m households.
Chief executive Philip Jansen commented: "BT delivered financial results in line with expectations for the first half of the year, thanks to strong operational performance during exceptional circumstances. Customer demand during the pandemic has shown how critical our networks have become, and our significant network investments have helped us double the number of Openreach’s FTTP orders compared to this time last year and have seen our leading 5G network expand to 112 towns and cities across the UK.
"This performance has given us confidence to raise the lower end of our EBITDA outlook range for this year and publish an EBITDA expectation of at least £7.9bn for 2022/23, with sustainable growth from this level forward. This growth will be driven by the continued recovery from Covid-19, enhanced by sales of our converged and growth products, and by significant savings from our modernisation and cost saving programme. In combination these factors will more than offset legacy product declines.
"The growth in EBITDA underpins the planned reinstatement of our dividend next year whilst ensuring that we can continue to drive value-creating investments in our networks and products."