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BT profits and revenue down again

BT saw a slight easing in profits decline

BT’s revenue has fallen by £16bn through the first three quarters of the financial year. 

The telecommunications company put the 7% dip down to the coronavirus pandemic. 

For the same period, BT’s profit fell by 17% to just under £1.6bn. 

In May 2020 BT announced it would not be paying a dividend to its shareholders until 2022, when it will be cut to 7.7p per share.  

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The company’s last dividend was an interim payment of 4.62p per share paid out to shareholders last March.

Chief executive of BT Philip Jansen expects for the company to perform well in the face of continued lockdowns through 2021. 

“During the current Covid-19 pandemic, BT has continued to deliver for our customers and invest in our networks, our modernisation programme, and our products and services in recognition of the ever increasing need for improved and faster connectivity. 

We delivered results in line with our expectations for the third quarter and remain on track to deliver our 2020/21 outlook despite even greater Covid-19 restrictions than previously forecast.”

Jansen does not think Brexit impacted BT’s recent performance and is confident in the company’s EBITDA expectation for 2022/23. 

“With no material impact expected from the Brexit deal and our resilient results so far this year I remain confident in our EBITDA expectation of at least £7.9bn for 2022/23.”

Despite the confidence of the BT board around performance in 2022/23 analysts highlighted underperformance in the past year. 

“It feels like BT should have fared better than it did through the course of the last year. You would have expected a properly structured business which faced a relatively modest impact from both Brexit and Covid to have outperformed rather than underperformed the wider market,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell. 

“However, BT faces fairly severe structural challenges including an unhelpful regulatory backdrop, big spending commitments and yawning black hole in its pension scheme.

At least today’s update did reveal a coronavirus-related boost for its Openreach infrastructure unit as lockdown generated massive demand for fibre broadband,” said Mould.

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