News & update

Results for the second quarter to 30 September 2017

03 Nov 2017
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Q2 results

Revenue was up 1% with growth of 21% in fibre broadband and 2% for our Ethernet products offsetting an ongoing reduction in the copper line base. This growth includes regulatory price changes which had a negative impact of around £13m and commercial price changes which had a negative impact of around £14m. 

We continue to extend the reach of fibre broadband which is now available to more than 27.1m premises of which around 770,000 can order an ultrafast (100Mbps+) service via our FTTP or G.fast technologies. We now have around 8.6m customers connected to fibre which is around 32% of those passed. 

We continue to focus on improving the experience of our customers. Year to date we are ahead on all 60 copper minimum service levels set by Ofcom and have seen a 2% reduction in our copper network faults compared to the first half of last year. 

Our consultation with Communication Providers on the investment case for a large-scale FTTP broadband network across the UK indicated broad support for this proposition. However, for the investment to be economically viable, a number of key enablers will need to be put in place through close co-operation between Openreach, CPs, Ofcom and Government. The enablers include: a supportive policy and regulatory environment that encourages investment; FTTP switchover; agreeing how investment costs can be fairly recovered; and us demonstrating that we can build FTTP at scale for a competitive cost. We plan to invite views from CPs on a more specific set of proposals that cover potential pricing, footprint and a plan for FTTP switchover, by the end of the year. Further details can be found in our press release dated 31 October 2017. 

Operating costs were 2% higher mainly driven by an increase in business rates charged on network assets and higher pension charges that were partly offset by lower service level guarantee payments as a result of clearing our aged Ethernet tail. EBITDA was down 1% and depreciation and amortisation was up 4% with operating profit down 7%. 

Capital expenditure was £397m, up £40m or 11%, reflecting our ongoing investment in fibre broadband coverage and speed, and delivering a higher volume of Ethernet connections. Capital expenditure includes gross grant funding of £50m (Q2 2016/17: £34m) directly related to our activity on the BDUK programme build which was offset by the deferral of £12m of grant funding (Q2 2016/17: £21m). Under the terms of the BDUK programme we have a potential obligation to either re-invest or repay grant funding depending on factors including the level of customer take-up achieved. 

Normalised free cash flow was down 60% due to timing of customer cash receipts and higher capital investment. 

You can also view the full Q2 results for BT Group here.