Thursday, May 13, 2021

BT increases FTTP target from 20m to 25m locations by 2027

 BT reported revenue of £21,331m for the full year to 31 March 2021, down 7%, primarily due to the impact of Covid-19 on its consumer and enterprise units, ongoing legacy product declines and divestments, partly offset by higher equipment revenue and Openreach bases in fibre and Ethernet. Adjusted revenue was down 6% in line with expectation for the full year to 31 March 2021. 

Adjusted EBITDA was £7,415m, down 6% as expected, primarily due to the fall in revenue, special frontline bonus, increased service costs and continued investment in copper-to-fibre migrations and FTTP base, partly offset by sports rights rebates and cost savings including our modernisation programme, tight cost control, and Covid-19 mitigation actions. Reported profit before tax was £1,804m, down 23%, primarily due to reduced EBITDA.

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, states" “BT comes out of this challenging year as a stronger business with an even greater sense of purpose. Our fantastic colleagues have shown the true colours of BT – delivering resilient connectivity, supporting families and businesses and helping to underpin the heroism of the NHS.A number of uncertainties have now been removed. The Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review, 5G spectrum auction and the Government's tax super-deduction give us the green light to build the UK’s next generation digital infrastructure even faster; today we are increasing and accelerating our FTTP target from 20m to 25m homes and businesses by December 2026 to deliver further value to our shareholders and support the Government’s full fibre ambitions. The conclusion of our triennial pension valuation today provides further clarity for shareholders.

"After a number of years of tough work, and as we look to build back better from the pandemic, we’re now pivoting to consistent and predictable growth. We are building a better BT for our customers, for the country, for our shareholders and for those who work for this great company – now and in the future.”

Some highlights:

BT's broadband networks seamlessly managed a doubling of daytime traffic due to more people being at home during the day; 42% increase in EE mobile data usage over the last 12 months

Openreach achieved 2.0m in year FTTP build with record build levels in Q4; increased FTTP connections by 73% to 905k over the last 12 months

BT's 5G footprint doubled to 160 locations and 5G ready customer base is now over 3.2m.

Secured 80MHz of 5G spectrum for a total of £475m in Ofcom's auction

Capital expenditure for the year amounted to £4,216m, up 6%, primarily due to increased network and equipment investment.