BT Ireland’s revenues rise but profits are dented by restructuring and new services

Company says results reflect ‘continued growth’ and addition of corporate customers

BT made an arrangemetn with Setanta to broadcast the company’s high-profile BT Sport channel in the Republic. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

BT made an arrangemetn with Setanta to broadcast the company’s high-profile BT Sport channel in the Republic. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

 

Revenues rose slightly at BT Ireland last year, but a batch of once-off costs related to restructuring and the provision of new services led to profits weakening by 5 per cent. The company, which employs 2,000 staff in Ireland, said the results reflected its “continued growth” and the addition of new corporate customers.

Colm O’Neill, BT Ireland chief executive, said the company had gained “a number of global multinational corporations and large indigenous exporters” and was aiming to add to their number.

He also pointed to a revenue boost provided by the rollout of its fibre network in the North, where BT provides consumer broadband, television and phone services, as well as catering for business customers.

Revenues at BT Ireland amounted to £661.6 million for the year to the end of March, which was up 2 per cent on the previous 12 months when foreign exchange and revenue from calls “transiting” its network were stripped out. The company, which is part of UK-based BT, does not break down profits for its Irish operations, but said said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were down 5 per cent.


Investments
Mr O’Neill said the earnings’ drop reflected a range of investments associated with new business, such as Sky Ireland’s piggybacking on the company’s services to provide broadband and phone services in the Republic. The company also absorbed the cost of “less than 100” voluntary redundancies during the year and incurred charges linked to exiting certain property leases.

In the Republic, where BT focuses on the business market, operations were buoyed during the year by new contracts to provide managed serves, or packages including IT and network services, to companies including Ardagh and Pioneer Investments. Mr O’Neill said this aspect of the company’s business makes it “unrecognisable” from five years ago. He also highlighted growth within the firm’s wholesale division, notably through the Sky deal and through an arrangement with Setanta to broadcast the company’s high-profile BT Sport channel in the Republic. (Additional reporting, Bloomberg)