BT has managed three percent revenue growth during the first half of its financial year to 30 September despite losing some of its share of the UK broadband market.
The UK telco published its second quarter results at the same time, revealing its share of the broadband market fell five percent compared to its first quarter. The reduction comes as its new wholesale business, Openreach unbundled some one million lines, as it continues to respond to regulatory requirements for it to expose its network exchanges for rivals, including Pipex, Carphone Warehouse and BskyB, to offer equivalent services.
But the company’s figures beat market estimates, driven by a 20% rise in new wave businesses which included its internet and corporate networked IT services. It also said it had completed the construction of 10% of its digital 21st Century Network programme. And Cardiff, its the first area set to go live at the end of this month.
BT said its 26% rise in pre-tax interim profits including one-off items was bolstered by greater operational efficiencies and lower net finance costs. However, this was partly offset by increased investment in its burgeoning new wave operations, which are making an increasing contribution to profits as its fixed-line telephony business declines.
The company talked up its latest consumer and small-to-medium sized business (SMB) offerings, including its online storage service Digital Vault, the triple-play broadband, fixed line and mobile home Hub, its BT Podshow and BT Business Plan.
Its BT Vision service remains on track for launch this autumn, offering on-demand entertainment programming and interactive services. BT said a wide range of content deals have already been announced with partners including NBC Universal, Paramount, Dream Works, BBC Worldwide, MTV, History Channel, Nickelodeon, Sony BMG and many others.
BT chief executive Ben Verwaayen said: "The second quarter results show another strong team performance with every part of the business playing its part." He also drew attention to the growing success of its Global IT Services business with major transformational contract wins during the second quarter with PepsiCo and Vodafone among others.