Revenue forecast to miss BT's goal

Investors are bracing for telecoms giant BT to cut its revenue forecasts at its half-year results on Thursday.

Barclays reckons "a worsening macro environment will negatively impact the 50 per cent of BT that is corporate" after Global Services, its international arm, disappointed in the first quarter.

The consensus forecast is for BT's revenues to fall 4.5 per cent to £4.57bn. Analysts at Barclays also warn BT's move into pay-TV sport — it has spent close to £900m on Premier League football and rugby rights — is going to hit cash flow targets. Investors will be anxious to know how YouView, the new internet-enabled TV set-top boxes that allow viewers to access on-demand content, have been selling since being first unveiled in July.

BT's pay-TV strategy has had mixed results, gaining only 700,000 subscribers to BT Vision in six years, but Morgan Stanley is hopeful it can win one million YouView customers by March 2014. "BT faces some bumps near term but these do not affect the medium-term picture," said analysts.