BT British again had the quarterly revenue growth for the first time in four and a half years, driven by record demand for super-fast broadband and new services to its growing sports on TV.
Revenues for the first three months ended in December rose by 2% to £4.6 billion compared to the expectations of £4.5 billion. The group recorded a pretax profit of £722 million, which is up to 8%, or about 50 million more than expected by the market.
Retail revenues were higher than the City had expected at £1.85bn, up 4% in the three months to 31 December compared with the same period last year.
The drop in retail earnings was offset by a 22% rise at the global services division, which won a new international contract with Tesco.
On a net basis, BT added 150,000 standard and superfast broadband customers in the quarter, 60pc of the growth in the overall market. Along with higher BT Sport sales, it meant BT Retail’s consumer business was a star performer, reporting 6pc revenue growth.
BT Sport attracted half a million extra customers during the period, taking the total to 2.5 million. The number includes those watching via BT’s television service, Sky customers watching via satellite, and online viewers using the BT Sport app. The TV service signed 54,000 customers, more than double the previous year. BSkyB has 10.5 million TV customers and added 110,000 broadband subscribers in the three months to the end of December.