BT profits from growing sport and broadband customers

BT said its sports customer numbers passed 2.5m in the last three months of 2013, reporting what chief executive Gavin Patterson has described as an “encouraging set of results”.

In November, BT paid almost £900m for the rights to broadcast Champions League football from 2015-18. Its efforts to drum up customers have saw six per cent revenue growth in the customer business.

Patterson said:

We achieved some particularly strong audience figures in December and the exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League that we have won will further strengthen the appeal of our proposition.

The telecoms company saw reported profit before tax up six per cent to £617m in the third quarter to 31 December, with earnings per share up 12 per cent in the period.

Revenue increased two per cent to £4.6bn. Expectations were for £4.5bn.

The company said that 18m premises now have access to BT’s fibre optic broadband. Fibre, said Patterson, helps SMEs to compete and “underpins [BT’s] TV plans”.

Outside Britain, BT saw double-digit revenue growth in its high-growth regions.

BT shares are up 82 per cent in the past two years, and 48 per cent in the last year.

Patterson said the pleasing results showed that BT’s “strategic investments are delivering.”