"BT had a positive year delivering results in line with expectations and completing our £1.6bn phase 1 transformation programme, one year ahead of schedule.
"Covid-19 has changed everybody’s world and I am immensely proud of how BT has responded to the challenges the Covid-19 crisis has presented. Our strong and resilient networks, both fixed and mobile, have proved critical to the continuing functioning of the UK economy, providing unrivalled connectivity and services for the nation.
"Of course, Covid-19 is affecting our business, but the full impact will only become clearer as the economic consequences unfold over the next 12 months. Due to Covid-19, BT is not providing guidance for 2020/21, at this time.
"BT has the best network infrastructure in the UK. We have the leading 4G network and are rapidly expanding our leadership position in 5G, that today covers over 80 towns and cities. We have the largest and most extensive fixed network and are leading the UK on the next generation Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network where we now pass 2.6 million premises. Today we are announcing a rapid acceleration of our FTTP build with a target of 20 million premises passed by the mid- to late-2020s, including a significant build in rural areas. After passing 1.3 million premises last year, we are aiming at over 2 million in 2020/21, and envisage a maximum build rate of 3 million premises per year. Our FTTP investment should deliver pre-tax nominal returns of between 10% to 12% and is based on a regulatory framework consistent with Ofcom’s preferred policy direction and continued support for infrastructure investment and competition.
"The continued delivery of market leading customer experiences remains core to our success, with a focus on driving the take-up of converged product offerings such as Halo, our premium converged offering for homes and businesses. In the short period since launch, Halo now represents over 30% of our BT consumer broadband base.
"BT is delivering, but is also changing. BT needs to be leaner, simpler and more agile. Today we are announcing a radical modernisation and simplification programme that will use technology to create a better BT for the future. This 5-year initiative will re-engineer old and out of date processes, rationalise products, reduce re-work and switch off many legacy services. This next stage in the modernisation of BT will deliver gross annualised savings of £2 billion over the next 5 years.
"In order to deal with the potential consequences of Covid-19, allow us to invest in FTTP and 5G, and to fund the major 5-year modernisation programme, we have also taken the difficult decision to suspend the dividend until 2022 and re-base thereafter.
"These decisions, particularly on the dividend, network investment and transformation are key to underpinning BT’s investment case; driving network strength, competitive strength and financial strength, providing more clarity to the market, and driving long-term value for shareholders. I am confident that these decisions position us really positively for the future."