BT's fibre broadband helps it connect record number of customers
BT Group posted a better than expected 3pc rise in full-year earnings and raised its outlook for free cash flow after a strong finish to the year, when it connected a record 455,000 fibre broadband customers.
The UK broadband market leader, which is buying the country's biggest mobile network EE, reported core earnings of £6.27bn (€8.4bn), beating market expectations of £6.22bn.
Underlying revenue fell 2pc to £17.85bn in the year to end-March, it said yesterday, while adjusted pretax profit rose 12pc to £3.17bn.
Of the fibre connections, some 266,000 were BT customers, while the remainder came from rivals such as Sky and TalkTalk, which wholesale capacity on BT's network.
Like Sky, BT is using exclusive sports content to attract broadband customers, and its offer will include Champions League soccer later this year for the first time.
It said it added 121,00 net new broadband customers - across both copper and superfast fibre - in the quarter, which it said was the seventh in a row it had outpaced Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin in broadband additions.
BT retained it outlook for "modest growth" in core earnings this year, despite the impact of regulatory changes and the costs of buying more soccer rights, but said it would post free cashflow of about £2.8bn, an upgrade on its previous £2.6bn forecast.