BT Ireland’s revenue hit by £6m currency swing

Company which employs 2,000 staff here, says its underlying revenue was flat for quarter


Volatile currency swings negatively impacted revenue at BT group’s Irish subsidiary to the tune of £6 million (€7.9 million), the company’s latest quarterly earnings show.

As a result, BT Ireland, which employs 2,000 staff here, said its underlying revenue excluding transit was also flat.

The company, which recently indicated its intention to bid for large Government contracts for the roll-out of rural broadband, grew its order intake by more than 75 per cent in the quarter, including contracts with NI Direct, Three Ireland and ICON.

Overall, the BT Group reported slower broadband growth and a swelling pension deficit as it prepares to buy the UK’s biggest wireless operator EE.

BT added 119,000 retail broadband customers, accounting for a 46 per cent share of new customers for the service industry wide, the company said.

Its share of new customers is at its lowest level in at least 11 quarters, Macquarie Group analyst Guy Peddy said in a note.

BT has been using ownership of valuable sports rights such as English Premier League soccer to win broadband customers, although the benefit from offering games for free “is gone,” Mr Peddy said. “They’re back to pre- BT Sport trends already.”

The slowdown comes as BT runs into more demands for its cash. The company may pay £12.5 billion for EE and is taking part in a multi-billion pound auction for the next three-year package of Premier League TV rights.