BT Ireland reports 6% rise in revenues

Broadband provider benefits from jump in MNC business as viewing figures for BT Sports soar

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match in May 2015.  BT Sports will have exclusive coverage of the tournament in 2015. (Photograph: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE/Getty Images)

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match in May 2015. BT Sports will have exclusive coverage of the tournament in 2015. (Photograph: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE/Getty Images)

 

BT Ireland said on Thursday that underlying revenues rose by 6 per cent in the first quarter of its financial year, as the broadband provider benefited from a significant increase in business sales orders.

Colm O’Neill, managing director, BT Corporate UK and Ireland, said that the results signal a strong start to the year for its all-island operation, with both revenue and profit growth in a very competitive market.

“In the Republic of Ireland, we’ve seen significant growth in our business sales revenue as Ireland’s expanding MNC market continues to seek out BT’s unique global networking capability. In Northern Ireland the fibre broadband market continues to grow steadily with around 220,000 homes and businesses now enjoying high speed fibre broadband access.”

In a statement, BT said that success in the Republic during the quarter was driven by significant increase in business sales orders, due to a number of multi-million euro deals with large global MNCs.

Growth in ICT sales and voice revenues continued to contribute to ROI performance, while BT said that viewing figures for its sports channel, BT Sport, increased by 51 per cent.

At group level, BT Group posted first-quarter revenue and core earnings in line with forecasts on Thursday, putting it on track to meet full-year expectations due to solid demand for fibre broadband and its new Champions League pay-TV offering.

The British broadband market leader, which is buying the country’s biggest mobile network EE, reported core earnings up 1 per cent to £1.4 billion (€2.2 bn), in line with market expectations. Revenue came in at £4.3 billion, also meeting forecasts and flat on an underlying basis, although an improving trend on the fourth quarter when it fell by 1.3 per cent.

The trading update means BT will need to continue to show an improvement in its revenue if it is to meet its full-year target of sales ‘growth’. It has said it expects ‘modest growth’ in core earnings.

“The investments we are making in our business and customer service are building a strong platform for growth,” said chief executive Gavin Patterson. “Our financial results show we’re on track to achieve our outlook for the full year.”

BT said its results were lifted by an additional 217,000 customers taking its superfast fibre broadband service, while it added 60,000 pay-TV customers, helped by the pending launch of its new programme showing Europe’s premier football competition, the Champions League.

(Additional reporting Reuters)