Broadband, sport score in flat fiscal year for BT
Joseph O'Halloran
| 08 May 2014
A very strong 24% growth in broadband and TV revenue, the latter thanks to the star performer BT Sport, have been the stand-outs in a rather flat fiscal year for UK telco BT.

For the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2014, BT reported revenues of 4.748 billion, slipping 1% year-on-year. which drove EBITDA of 1.705 billion, itself up 2% compared with the same period a year earlier. For the full year, revenues amounted to 18.287 billion, no change in that reported on 31 March 2013. It was the same story for yearly EBITDA which totalled 6.116 billion.

The BT Consumer division generated strong revenue growth driven primarily by higher broadband and TV revenue reflecting the benefit of BT Sport which has performed beyond expectation since launch in August 2013 and is now in around five million homes. BT added that it now has around three million direct BT Sport customers, which include those watching via satellite, BT TV, online or via the app.

In Q4, BT claimed its best ever quarter in fibre with 249,000 BT retail fibre broadband net additions, taking the customer base now to over 2.1 million and added 46,000 core IPTV customers bringing the total to around one million. The quarter also saw the launch of what BT called a "smaller, sleeker and more power efficient version" of its YouView set-top box which now has 27 channels. BT will be closing its first generation TV service in the first quarter of 2014/15 and promises that it will exchange legacy set-top boxes for new YouView boxes. It does conceded that it anticipates some impact on TV customer churn during this period.

Commenting on the results, BT chief executive Gavin Patterson said: "We have made strong progress this year. Our investment in fibre is delivering with 1.3 million more premises taking fibre this year, almost doubling the number of homes and businesses now connected ... BT Sport has proved very popular ... For BT Consumer it underpinned a record 9% growth in revenue in the fourth quarter and the lowest line losses in over five years. These results provide a strong platform for growth and from which to achieve our outlook for the years ahead ... We continue to focus on improving the service we provide to our customers and delivering on our investments."