BT makes convergence inroads, begins cuts - Mobile World Live

BT makes convergence inroads, begins cuts

01 NOV 2018

BT chief Gavin Patterson (pictured) praised sales of its first converged product, while revealing the operator’s cost-cutting strategy was ahead of schedule with the loss of 2,000 jobs in its fiscal H1.

The redundancies are part of an attempt to wipe £1.5 billion from annual costs through a number of measures including a reduction in corporate offices and a 13,000 drop in headcount, announced earlier this year.

BT said it had already trimmed £350 million off annual costs at an overall price of £206 million.

In its earnings statement, Patterson said the company had “generated positive momentum” across the first half of its fiscal year (the six months to end-September): “Our strategy is delivering, with benefits evident from the steps we’ve been taking to simplify and strengthen the business and improve efficiency.”

Prior to announcing the cuts, it reorganised the business and brought mobile brand EE into its wider Consumer business.

Convergence
BT’s fiscal Q2 was the first complete quarter for BT Plus, a service hailed by the company as the UK’s first truly converged fixed and mobile service. It added around 400,000 users during the period, taking its numbers to half a million.

Patterson said the operator had seen strong interest in the service, noting “trends and evidence from the rest of Europe suggest there is a market and demand for converged products: we are beginning to see that.”

Consumer CEO Marc Allera added uptake was being held back primarily by potential users being midway through mobile contracts with other providers. Without offering specific details, the company added an “update” to the converged service will be unveiled in the back half of BT’s fiscal year.

Profit boost
In fiscal Q2, revenue from its Consumer division (comprising its residential and private mobile services) was £2.7 billion, a 4 per cent year-on-year rise.

Over its fiscal H1, Consumer operating profit of £713 million was up 10 per cent year-on-year, while revenue of £5.3 billion was up 3 per cent.

Net profit across BT Group was £1 billion, up 30 per cent year-on-year. However, the comparison is heavily impacted by a change in accounting standards and a number of one-off items which impacted profitability in the comparable period.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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