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BT Group Plc - Trading Update

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BT Group plc

Trading update

Results for the nine months to 31 December 2019

BT Group plc (BT.L) today announced its trading update for the nine months to 31 December 2019.

Key strategic developments - continued delivery in line with strategy:

  • Ofcom's consultation on the Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review is an important step forward in incentivising investment in the UK's digital infrastructure and toward enabling BT to significantly increase its FTTP target
  • Exclusive rights to UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League secured until 2024
  • On-shoring of BT brand sales and service calls completed; nearly 500 retail stores now BT/EE dual branded
  • Our Better Workplace programme confirmed further long-term locations in Birmingham and Bristol
  • Sale agreed of our domestic operations in Spain
  • Important clarification on use of certain vendors in 5G and full fibre networks - estimated impact of c.£500m over 5 years

Operational:

  • 5G now live in over 50 locations; EE found to have broadest 5G network by RootMetrics
  • Openreach accelerates FTTP build at c.26k premises passed per week; 2.2m FTTP premises passed to date
  • Openreach awarded two of three lots to provide superfast speeds to Scotland; vast majority of build to be FTTP
  • Consumer fixed ARPC £38.2, down 4% year on year due to decline in voice revenue; postpaid mobile ARPC £20.3, down 5% due to impact of regulation and continued trend towards SIM-only; RGUs per address 2.38
  • Postpaid mobile churn remains low at 1.3% in Q3 despite impact of auto switching; fixed churn at 1.3% in Q3 down from 1.4% in prior year following customer experience improvements and new pricing strategy

Financial:

  • Reported revenue £17,246m and adjusted2 revenue £17,192m, both down 2%1 primarily due to ongoing headwinds from regulation, competition and legacy product declines
  • Reported profit before tax of £1,911m; adjusted2 EBITDA £5,900m, down 3%1, due to the fall in revenue, higher spectrum fees, investment in customer experience and higher operating costs in Openreach
  • Normalised free cash flow2 of £1,000m, down 42% due to increased cash capital expenditure, deposit for UEFA club football rights, higher interest and tax payments and working capital, partially offset by one-off cash flows
  • Capital expenditure £2,877m. Up £251m excluding BDUK funding deferral, driven by fixed and mobile network investment
  • Overall financial outlook maintained; we expect normalised free cash flow2, for timing reasons, to be in the lower half of the £1.9bn - £2.1bn full year guidance range