• Key points for the fourth quarter:

    • Underlying revenue excluding transit down 1.3%
    • Underlying operating costs excluding transit down 6%
    • EBITDA grew 7%, partly helped by the settlement of ladder pricing arrangements
    • Our best ever quarter for Openreach fibre broadband net connections of 455,000, up 31%
    • Agreed definitive terms for proposed acquisition of mobile operator EE
    • Secured content for FA Premier League to 2018/19 and Aviva Premiership Rugby to 2020/21
    • Launched great value mobile offerings into the consumer market
    • 2014 triennial pension funding valuation agreed in January 

    Key points for the year:

    • Results in line with or ahead of our outlook for the year
    • Underlying revenue excluding transit down 0.4%
    • Underlying operating costs excluding transit down 2%
    • EBITDA of £6,271m, up 3%
    • Earnings per share up 12%
    • Normalised free cash flow of £2,830m, up 16%
    • Net debt at £5,119m down £1,909m including the benefit of our £1.0bn share placing
    • Proposed final dividend of 8.5p, up 13%, giving a full year dividend of 12.4p, up 14% 

    Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, said:

    “It’s been a ground-breaking year for BT, in which we’ve made some key decisions and announced some major investments to underpin the future growth of the business. Profit before tax and free cash flow have both grown strongly and we have delivered or beaten the outlook we set at the start of the year.

    “Our superfast broadband network now passes more than three-quarters of the UK and we’ve announced plans to upgrade to ultrafast. This will be another multi-year investment by Openreach and is the right thing for both BT and the UK, providing even faster speeds in an already competitive market. We delivered our best ever performance for fibre connections in the fourth quarter with Openreach adding almost half a million premises to our network. Our retail business delivered a record-breaking 266,000 of these connections.

    “Shareholders approved our proposed £12.5 billion acquisition of EE last week. While we await regulatory approval, we have pushed ahead with our own mobility plans, launching our great value BT Mobile consumer service in March.

    “Our BT Sport TV channels are now in more than 5.2 million homes, with the customer base growing again in the quarter. We’re pleased to have secured FA Premier League football rights for a further three years, and an extension with Aviva Premiership Rugby for four more years. With exclusive live football from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, we’ll be showing even more top sporting action from this summer.

    “For our business customers, we launched a number of innovative services this year including BT Assure Threat Defence, BT One Phone and BT Cloud Voice. And while in the UK public sector trading remains tough, we continue to see good growth in Asia and the Middle East.

    “We will continue to deliver on our investments and improve the service we provide to our customers. This year we recruited 2,500 new engineers and more than 500 new agents into our UK contact centres, with over 500 new apprentices across the group. Each of our customer-facing lines of business made improvements in service this year. We have increased the speed of service delivery, repaired faults faster and fixed more customer issues first time. But we recognise we’re not yet where we want to be and this will continue to be a priority for us.

    “We made further progress with transforming our costs, contributing to a 6% decline in operating costs4 in the fourth quarter. We’ve reorganised our business, increased productivity and streamlined our processes.

    “Our performance during the year is reflected in our full year dividend, which is up 14%. Our results and the investments we are making position us well for the future and enable us to increase our free cash flow outlook for the coming year.”

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  • Key points for the third quarter:

    • Underlying revenue excluding transit down 1%
    • Underlying operating costs excluding transit down 3% reflecting the benefit of our cost transformation activities
    • EBITDA up 2% and earnings per share up 10%
    • Normalised free cash flow of £908m, up 64%
    • Outlook reaffirmed

    Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, said:

    “This quarter we have delivered good growth in profit before tax and strong free cash flow.

    “Openreach achieved the highest growth in the number of landlines on record. It was also our best ever quarter for fibre broadband net additions. All the major communications providers are responding to the strong market demand for fibre broadband, helping to drive take-up in what is already a very competitive market.

    “Our superfast fibre broadband network now covers around three-quarters of the UK. BT has been at the forefront of fibre innovation and investment, from which all communications providers benefit. We aim to keep it that way. So today we’re announcing large-scale pilots this summer of ultrafast broadband with G.fast. We now think we can deploy this technology at scale which will enable us to deliver ultrafast speeds of up to 500Mbps to most of the UK within a decade.

    “I am pleased that we have agreed the 2014 triennial funding valuation and recovery plan with the Trustee of the BT Pension Scheme. The funding deficit is £7.0bn at 30 June 2014, an increase from 2011 reflecting the low interest rate environment. Over the next three years we will pay £2.0bn, which is less than we paid over the previous three years. We have agreed a 16 year recovery plan reflecting the strength and sustainability of our future cash flow generation.

    “Mobility is a key growth area for us. We are making good progress on our due diligence in relation to a possible acquisition of EE and will make further announcements in due course. In the meantime, our Consumer mobile launch plans remain on track.” 

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  • Key points for the second quarter:

    • Underlying revenue excluding transit up 0.2%
    • Underlying operating costs excluding transit down 1%
    • EBITDA up 1% and earnings per share up 15%
    • 344,000 Openreach fibre broadband net connections, up 9%
    • Interim dividend up 15% to 3.9p
    • Outlook reaffirmed 

    Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, said:

    “This was a solid quarter, with results slightly ahead of market expectations as we reduced costs and grew EBITDA. Profit before tax was up 13 per cent.

    “Our Consumer business continues to perform well thanks to the impact of BT Sport where Premier League audiences are up around 45 per cent on average. Fibre is also driving growth with one in three of our retail broadband customers enjoying super-fast speeds.

    “Our fibre footprint has increased to more than 21 million premises and will continue to grow. We continue to see strong demand across the market for the faster speeds that fibre offers.

    “Further improving customer service remains a priority and Openreach is recruiting an additional 500 engineers to help us better serve our customers. We have also launched a range of new cloud-based products and services aimed at the business market.

    “We are delivering on our strategy and our outlook remains unchanged. Our confidence enables us to raise our interim dividend by 15 per cent to 3.9p.” 

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  • Key strategic developments for the quarter

    • Underlying revenue excluding transit up 0.5%
    • Cost transformation running at a similar pace to last financial year; underlying operating costs excluding transit and BT Sport down 3%
    • EBITDA flat and earnings per share up 10%
    • BT Global Services and BT Business both grew EBITDA despite lower revenue
    • Our outlook remains unchanged  

    Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, said

     “This was a solid quarter, with results slightly ahead of market expectations as we reduced costs and grew EBITDA. Profit before tax was up 13 per cent. Our Consumer business continues to perform well thanks to the impact of BT Sport where Premier League audiences are up around 45 per cent on average.

    Fibre is also driving growth with one in three of our retail broadband customers enjoying super-fast speeds.Our fibre footprint has increased to more than 21 million premises and will continue to grow. We continue to see strong demand across the market for the faster speeds that fibre offers.

    Further improving customer service remains a priority and Openreach is recruiting an additional 500 engineers to help us better serve our customers. We have also launched a range of new cloud-based products and services aimed at the business market. We are delivering on our strategy and our outlook remains unchanged. Our confidence enables us to raise our interim dividend by 15 per cent to 3.9p.”

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