BT benefiting from EE acquisition as it launches £6bn investment plan
BT’s integration of EE is “going well”, claimed CEO Gavin Patterson, as the company reported a healthy rise in earnings boosted by the £12.5 billion acquisition of the mobile operator.
BT included windfalls from the EE deal for the first time, as it accounted the mobile operator in its Q4 and end year financials from 29 January, shortly after completing the blockbuster deal.
For the two month period, EE contributed revenue of £1.05 billion and added 54,000 postpaid mobile net subscribers during the period, giving it 15.4 million customers in this metric, and 30.6 million connections overall.
These figures boosted overall performance, with BT seeing a Q4 revenue rise of 22 per cent to hit £5.7 billion, from £4.6 billion the year prior, as net profit rose to £756 million, from £690 million.
BT saw adjusted EBITDA rise 14 per cent to £2.08 billion, from £1.8 billion, year on year.
In a statement, Patterson said BT now sees “the opportunity to deliver more synergies (with EE) than we originally expected, and at a lower cost”, as he heralded a “landmark year” for the company.
“We’ve completed our acquisition of EE, the UK’s best 4G mobile network provider, we’ve passed more than 25 million premises with fibre and we’ve delivered a strong financial performance,” he said.
Other standouts for the period saw the group’s consumer business perform strongly, as popularity of broadband and TV packages continue to grow.
The company saw its TV customer base grow by 28 per cent for the year to 1.5 million, with the business accounting for £1.2 billion in revenue for the period, an 8 per cent rise. It also added 214,000 fibre broadband customers in the quarter, giving it a total base of 4.1 million.
BT Mobile, the group’s MVNO service which launched last year, now has a customer base reaching more than 400,000.
£6 billion investment plan
In a separate statement, BT unveiled an investment plan for both EE and its Openreach broadband business, which will see the company spend approximately £6 billion over three years, to extend broadband and 4G coverage.
Through the investment, BT plans to extend its 4G geographic footprint in the UK from “around 60 per cent today to 95 per cent by 2020″, as well as taking ultrafast broadband services to at least 10 million homes and businesses over the period, subject to regulatory support.
The move is a riposte to rivals and regulators who have demanded better coverage for homes and businesses across the country.
Britain’s biggest broadband company is locked in talks with regulator Ofcom over the future of its profitable networks division Openreach, which also provides the lines used by competitors including Sky and TalkTalk.