Publications

Format: Sep 2018
sort ascending Sector(s) Date
BT Q1 2018/19 results: On target in the short term, making progress for the long term

BT’s Q1 results were fairly robust given a number of one-offs hitting in the quarter, with revenue growth of -2% in line with full year guidance, EBITDA growth of 1% ahead of plan, and a number of metrics looking promising

Openreach’s newly announced volume discount plans offer advantages in growing high and higher speed volumes, infrastructure competitiveness and regulatory pricing pressure, while giving up little in external revenue, a win-win-win for BT at least

Full-fibre regulation appears to be slowly moving towards more clarity, but is still far too unclear to justify an accelerated investment, with critical issues being ducked (for now) by government and Ofcom alike

  • EE
  • BT
Fixed Line, Media, Mobile, Telecoms 3 August 2018
BT Q1 2017/18 results: Back to growth (for now at least)

BT Group revenue returned to growth, at least temporarily, helped by overlapping price rises in consumer, one-off regulated price cuts on leased lines annualising out, and mobile handset sales improving

Regulatory news was unusually positive, with Openreach taking the initiative on FTTP, and BT winning an appeal against damaging leased line regulation, which may end up being significantly eased

BT continues to do well in consumer and struggle in business markets, with the ongoing deceleration in the consumer broadband market the main cloud on the horizon

 

  • EE
Fixed Line, Media, Mobile, Telecoms, UK Media 9 August 2017
BT Q1 2016/17 results: Not shabby

BT Group’s revenue growth was roughly unchanged in the quarter at 0.4%, with continued strong consumer growth mitigated by regulated and structural challenges in the rest of the Group

Both broadband and superfast broadband adoption is slowing, but BT is compensating with improving market share for the former, and the prospect of further uplifts from ultrafast for the latter

Regulatory uncertainties are likely to continue to weigh, with the current Openreach debate to be closely followed by the not-exactly-unimportant issue of copper and fibre pricing/regulation from April 2017

  • EE
Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms 4 August 2016
BT Q1 2015/16 results: Solid all round

BT had a solid all round Q1, with broadband share robust, fibre growth still strong, revenue growth bouncing up a little on the business side and cost control robust

BT Sport Europe launches this quarter, and will boost revenues but raise costs by more; we continue to believe that the extra net costs can easily be covered by group-wide costs savings to allow group EBITDA to continue growing over the full financial year

The broadband market is increasingly characterised by high headline pricing coupled with heavy promotional discounting, and BT’s early headline price rise scheduled for September continues this trend

Telecoms 3 August 2015
BT Q1 2014/15 results: Solid Q1, but battles to come

BT had a solid Q1, with Group revenue growth still positive but slightly slowed by weakness in managed services and Global Services, and EBITDA flat in the last quarter before BT Sport costs fully annualise out

The consumer side had strong revenue growth, with accelerating volume growth and solid ARPU, although net subscriber additions were relatively subdued in a quarter that was seasonally quiet

The next quarter will likely be a noisier one, with promotions ramping up as the new football season launches, and both BT and Sky positioning themselves ahead of the next Premier League auction

Fixed Line, Telecoms 4 August 2014
BT Q1 2013/14 results: Performance and prospects strong, BT Sport mainly defensive so far

BT’s underlying revenue growth of -1% in the June quarter was a slight dip from the March quarter, but remains very impressive compared to historic trends and international peers

BT Sport gained over 500k sign-ups, a pretty respectable figure in context, but so far it is looking mostly defensive, with any impact on broadband trends in the quarter indiscernible

Regulated cuts to copper pricing look like they will drop out completely from 2014/15, and BT’s DSL competitors are starting to push fibre more aggressively, both of which will give BT a very solid boost from 2014

Fixed Line, Telecoms 30 July 2013
BT Q1 2011/12 results: marking time

BT reported another quarter of strong growth in broadband volume, helped by high competitor churn and accelerating take up of the Infinity high speed broadband service

But broadband volume growth did not feed through to financial performance at BT Retail, Global Services remained stuck in low gear and BT Wholesale performance weakened further

The company should make its guidance for the year to March, but evidence that it will do more than the minimum remains elusive

Fixed Line, Telecoms 2 August 2011
BT Q1 2010/11 results: strong cost control, but impact of government spending review remains uncertain

BT continues to improve its performance through cost reduction, with Global Services continuing to lead the way

Although a strike appears to have been averted, the next few quarters will be tougher due to increased EBITDA ‘re-investment’

Management is sticking to guidance which is, like the government, conservative in nature. Nonetheless, in our view, the forthcoming government spending review could still prove challenging

Telecoms, Fixed Line 2 August 2010
BT pre-quarterly results trading update: cost control issues at Global Services

On 31st October BT announced that Q2 EBITDA and EPS will be slightly below expectations as a result of a sharp deterioration in performance at Global Services (GS) and that GS CEO Francois Barrault has been replaced by erstwhile Group Finance Director Hanif Lalani

Fixed Line, Telecoms 31 October 2008
BT Next Generation Access: a one billion pound toe in the water

BT’s announcement of a project to extend fibre beyond the exchange for some existing homes as well as newly built ones is good PR, a useful regulatory gambit, and offers the prospect of regaining some initiative from unbundlers and Virgin Media at the wholesale and retail levels respectively

  • Virgin Media
Telecoms, Fixed Line 14 July 2008
BT new Consumer strategy: Converging, but in a good way

BT has emphasised ‘convergence’ in its new Consumer strategy, but it has avoided most of the usual fixed-mobile convergence mistakes, with separate brands, minimal discounting and only slightly flawed converged products

The general strategy is to improve customer service to improve market share trends (particularly in broadband), enable premium products/positioning, and allow for cross-selling of a strong set of converged (in a broader sense) products, which is very sensible in our view

It does require extra spending in the short-term to improve customer service and the perception thereof (particularly in broadband) before premium positioning and cross-selling can be effective, therefore improved trends at the bottom line may take some time to come through

 

  • EE
  • BT
Fixed Line, Media, Mobile, Telecoms, UK Media 23 May 2018
BT Mobile goes fourth

BT announced this week its fourth launch of consumer mobile, following three failures since it split from O2 in 2001

The product is SIM-only, low-end priced and lacks any ‘convergent’ features as yet, but is well structured to target those likely to take a BT mobile service in our view

While its ambitions may be modest, take-up may well be higher than its over-ambitious over-complicated predecessors, as well as giving BT experience in cross-selling mobile prior to its EE acquisition

Mobile, Telecoms 26 March 2015
BT management changes: exit Ben Verwaayen, enter Ian Livingston

BT announced on 8th April that Ian Livingston, currently CEO of BT Retail, will replace Ben Verwaayen as group CEO on 1st June. The Managing Director of BT Retail’s Consumer division, Gavin Patterson, will replace Ian Livingston at the helm of BT Retail. We expect John Petter to take Gavin’s place at the Consumer division

Telecoms 8 April 2008
BT Global Services

Global Services is the new name for BT's Ignite division. The structure of this important part of BT's business is complex and extremely difficult to understand. BT itself promotes the division as its 'hidden jewel', even though its financial performance in recent years has been little short of catastrophic. Investors rightly remain sceptical.

  • Yahoo
Telecoms 22 June 2003
BT FY 2009/10 Q3 results: recovery continuing, but longer term outlook uncertain

BT’s Q3 results and improved guidance for the year to March 2010 showed the current turnaround is well on track. But revenue continued to decline and improvements were concentrated at Global Services, the results for which were flattered by the dire prior year comparable

The UK business’s long term prospects also depend on successful deployment of next generation access, but this is over two years away

The results were overshadowed by the Pensions Regulator initially expressing ‘substantial concern’ over some features of the pension deficit valuation and recovery plan that the company has agreed with the trustees. Clarity on this is also some way off

Telecoms, Fixed Line 15 February 2010
BT FY 2009-10 Q2 results: more progress on cost reduction

BT’s Q2 results, and improved guidance for the year to March 2010 provided further encouraging evidence of the new management team’s ability to take cost out of the business

However, the group is in a phase of revenue decline, primarily due to recession, but also strong competition

We continue to view limited deployment of next generation access as a worthwhile defensive move, but remain sceptical regarding the potential for uplift to shareholder value

Telecoms, Fixed Line 16 November 2009
BT FY 2009-10 Q1 results: what goes down

BT’s Q1 results provided welcome respite from a string of bad news, and some evidence of management’s ability to cut costs, but were helped by a temporary sharp reduction in capex and a VAT repayment. It remains early days

The ‘21st century’ upgrade to the core network now appears to be largely complete and delivering cost savings, but a separate voice network will continue to run over the access infrastructure

The company’s project to deploy more fibre beyond the local exchange, whilst a useful defensive move, looks unlikely to have a major impact on shareholder value

Telecoms, Fixed Line 1 August 2009
BT FY 2008-09 Q4 results: clearing the decks

BT’s Q4 results contained a bombshell £1.3 billion write-down at Global Services to correct previous under-reporting of costs on two contracts, believed to be with the NHS and Reuters. Underlying EBITDA at Global Services also dropped sharply for the second quarter running

Annual pension contributions are to increase sharply, as expected, albeit to a level sustainable by the business. Performance at other divisions continues to be reasonable, given the economic environment

The company’s plans to cut costs have some credibility, but are expensive and will take time to implement. There is little prospect of meaningful recovery in cash flow until 2010

Telecoms, Fixed Line, Non-UK Telecoms 16 May 2009
BT FY 2008-09 Q3 results: another mighty wave is looming

As announced in the January trading update, BT’s Q3 results were hit by poor cost control at Global Services and the identification of some ‘toxic’ contracts. Performance elsewhere continued to be reasonable but helped by a spike at Openreach and non-core business

With a further ‘one-off’ charge against GS EBITDA in Q4 a virtual certainty, we continue to expect problems at Global Services to combine with recessionary pressures and stalling broadband growth to constrain performance well into 2010

A large pension deficit at the actuarial valuation in May looks inevitable. The Digital Britain initiative could pave the way for legitimate government and regulatory support

Telecoms, Fixed Line 17 February 2009
BT FY 2008-09 Q2 results: resilience reduced by cost control issues at Global Services

As announced in the October trading update, BT’s Q2 results were hit by poor cost control at Global Services. Performance elsewhere was reasonable but was shored up at group level by a spike in contribution from non-core business

Telecoms, Fixed Line 17 November 2008

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