UK-based BT group has announced the reports for its all-Ireland operation for the financial year ending 31 March 2013, noting that rising demand for its fibre broadband and networked IT services helped boost the carrier’s performance in Northern Ireland. Revenue for the period under review increased by 4% year-on-year to GBP739.9 million (USD1.1 billion), excluding the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations, although EBITDA flat-lined due to BT’s investment in ‘the delivery of several large retail and wholesale contracts’, which was offset by ongoing cost-saving initiatives.
Commenting on the results, Colm O’Neill, chief executive for BT in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, said: ‘We have delivered a solid year of growth in revenues and maintained profit and cash flow in a challenging economic environment. We are managing our costs, while making investments in the future of our business to support our customers and to improve our service. Our fibre investments have helped to make Northern Ireland a broadband leader in Europe. More than 90% of premises are connected to our fibre broadband cabinets and take-up is strong with close to 17% of those homes and businesses experiencing the benefits of faster fibre speeds. This gives us a great platform to bring more exciting services to our customers, including BT Sport this year. A strong performance by the BT Ireland Consumer division, which operates in Northern Ireland, impacted positively on revenue generation in the year. Take-up of fixed line services among Northern Ireland consumers increased, driven by the reliability and benefits of high-speed fibre broadband. More than half of our broadband customers in Northern Ireland have now selected a fibre broadband service.’ The BT’s official went on to say that in spite on the difficult economic climate and a shift in the market towards lower value contracts, its Business division has managed to increase revenues year-on-year. In particular, the company says it is making strong progress in the public sector, in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, and also recorded double-digit revenue growth in IT services for the fourth year in succession.
In addition, the group notes that BT Ireland’s Wholesale division is currently the leading provider of wholesale fixed line services in Northern Ireland, boosted by a network investment programme that has seen fibre rolled out to over 90% coverage in the north, with over 823,500 homes and offices passed.