Outgoing CEO Gavin Patterson delivered better than expected Q3 results for telco giant BT, commenting “there have been some ups and downs no doubt, but I think the business is more resilient better placed overall”.
BT’s revenue was down by one per cent to £5.98 billion (€6.84bn) for the three months to December 31st as it recorded a one-off £180 million charge in regulated broadband price reductions at its Openreach infrastructure subsidiary.
The declines were partially offset as both revenue and earnings grew in BT’s consumer unit, with core profits up 15 per cent to £648 million and revenue growing four per cent to £2.78 billion. However, BT’s Openreach and global services were both saw numbers down on the same period last year.
“We have continued to deliver consistently against our strategic objectives in a tough market, resulting in another sound quarter of operational and financial performance,” added Patterson. “I am handing over the business with good momentum behind its ongoing transformation programme and wish my colleagues all the best for the future.”
Openreach accelerated its FTTP commissioning and has now passed 890,000 premises. with Patterson saying the telco was ready to expand its FTTP programme up to and beyond 10 million premises if the conditions were right.
Patterson’s handover marks the end of 15 years’ service to the company. He was appointed CEO in 2013 and oversaw the launch of BT Sport and the acquisition of EE.
Ex-Worldpay chief Philip Jansen will take over the role from tomorrow (February 1st).
According to TMT analyst Paolo Pescatore, the results reflected early signs that Patterson’s restructuring strategy was bearing fruit, but that Jansen would still need to make some tough decisions, first and foremost being whether the current strategy should be tweaked. “Expect to hear more about Jansen’s future vision and strategy for the company at its full year results,” he suggested.
“Overall, Pescatore described it as “a modest quarter” for BT, noting that in a tough competitive landscape, the consumer unit performed well.
“All eyes are now on Deutsche Telekom and whether the company will increase its stake in BT,” he added, concluding that 2019 promises to be a big year for the consumer unit with an exciting line up of products and services. “It must now deliver.”