Picture’s bright for BT as it gets in tune for TV launch
Friday 01 February 2013
BT chief executive Ian Livingston slipped into the footballing vernacular today ahead of the group’s launch of its TV and Sports channels in the summer.
“Our pre-season training is going well,” he said.
Clare Balding yesterday was the latest high-profile presenter to sign up to BT Vision, joining Jake Humphrey who will anchor its coverage of Premier League football.
Even ahead of the major launch, BT signed up an extra 21,000 customers to BT Vision in the last three months of 2012, taking the total to 60,000. That compares with the 25,000 new customers who joined Sky’s television service in the same period.
But away from the razzmatazz of TV, BT’s core businesses also had a strong quarter, driven by insatiable demand for better and faster broadband. Pre-tax profits in the three months to the end of December rose 7% to £675 million, well ahead of City forecasts.
Livingston said: “Solid is a very overused word but it is the right word to apply to this latest quarter. That is particularly true given the weather our engineers had to deal with.”
In the three months, BT engineers went out on 1.7 million calls, 12% higher than the same period a year earlier. Virtually all that increase was down to weather-related faults.
“We had lines washed away and blown down, cabinets completely underwater, and our engineers working extra overtime and at weekends to repair the damage,” Livingston said. He added that in the first nine months of its financial year, BT had recruited an extra 1000 engineers — many of them former servicemen and women — on its repair side and also on installing its £2.5 billion fibre-optic TV, broadband and phone network.
That network now passes 13 million homes and businesses, and 250,000 customers signed up to fibre-optic connections in the quarter — taking the total to 1.25 million on the high-speed service. They pay a premium monthly price, which is good news for BT’s margins. Revenues for the quarter dropped, as expected, by 6% to £4.5 billion, much of the decline coming from cuts to charges the regulator has ordered the company to make.
BT shares today rose 9.9p, or 4%, to a five-year high of 258.5p. They fell to a low of 71.4p in March 2003 after BT issued a profits warning over its Global Services division.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 4 Amy Winehouse unpublished 2004 interview: ‘Ten years from now I’ll be 30, so I’ll maybe have one baby’
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...
£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...