BT reprieves EE brand as profit growth jumps

The 500-plus EE shops and their 14,000 staff will not have to undergo an expensive rebranding exercise

Nick Goodway
Monday 01 February 2016 23:10
Comments
BT took 71 per cent of the growth in the UK broadband market during this quarter
BT took 71 per cent of the growth in the UK broadband market during this quarter

BT has reported its best quarterly growth for seven years and said it had decided to retain the EE brand after its £12.5bn takeover of the mobile giant.

“It’s a strong brand,” BT’s chief executive Gavin Patterson said. “It has a clear association with 4G where it is the market leader. We will operate a multi-brand strategy which we have already shown we can do with Plusnet in broadband.”

The decision means that 500-plus EE shops and their 14,000 staff will not have to undergo an expensive rebranding exercise and – for the time being at least – they will not be selling BT products and services.

The EE brand was launched in 2012, two years after Orange and Deutsche Telekom merged their UK mobile operations to form the much derided Everything Everywhere brand. Deutsche is now BT’s largest shareholder with a 12 per cent stake, and Orange has 4 per cent.

Although EE will become the consumer-focused part of BT’s mobile offering, it has created a new division to service UK businesses and the public sector, combining mobile, internet and fixed line.

BT’s headline revenues rose by 4.7 per cent to £4.6bn in the three months to December. Core earning rose by 3 per cent to £1.6bn with pre-tax profits up 14 per cent at £928m. The numbers were comfortably towards the top end of analysts’ forecasts and BT shares rose 9.35p to 494.2p. The company said it was confident with its forecast of annual revenue growth in the year to March of 1-2 per cent.

“We saw a particularly strong performance in our consumer business,” Mr Patterson said. “Customers like what we are offering whether it’s superfast broadband, Champions League football or mobile data bundles.”

BT took 71 per cent of the growth in the UK broadband market during the quarter, and its infrastructure offshoot Openreach supplied 494,000 new fibre connections, split roughly 50-50 between BT and its rivals – predominantly Sky. The group is awaiting the outcome of the investigation into the telecoms market by Ofcom’s chief executive, Sharon White, which could force BT to split off or sell Openreach.

Ms White said yesterday she wanted Europe to bar the takeover of O2 by 3, the UK’s smallest mobile network. An initial ruling from Brussels is expected this week or early next. Historically, Europe has opposed mergers where this would mean a country’s mobile competitors falling from four to three.

For the first time in a decade BT recorded growth in consumer landlines, thanks to marketing of broadband and BT Sport.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in