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UK ISP BT Retail Tops 6.8M Broadband Subscribers and 1.5m Adopt FTTC

Thursday, July 25th, 2013 (8:09 am) - Score 1,741

BT Group has today released their latest financial results to 30th June 2013 (Q2), which saw the operators retail ISP division increase their fixed line broadband subscribers by +95,000 in the quarter to total 6,799,000 (down from the +136k added in Q1-2013 and +122k in Q4-2012).

Elsewhere BT Group’s fibre optic based superfast broadband services (i.e. up to 80Mbps FTTC and 330Mbps FTTP) have now passed 16 million homes and businesses (up from 15m in Q1-2013) and 1.7 million have subscribed (we make that an uptake of 10.62%), which is up by +265,000 during Q2. BT Retail’s (BTInfinity) share of this is a dominant 1.5 million, although their growth slowed slightly by adding +197k in the quarter (down from +211k in Q1-2013 and 200k in Q4-2012).

In addition BTWholesale are now home to a total of 8,860,000 broadband lines (up by +90k in Q2-2013), which is a slight slowdown from the +117k added last quarter but also includes services delivered to other BT-based ISPs like Zen Internet. BT also noted that there are a total of 8,958,000 unbundled (LLU) lines in the market (up by +99k and that’s slower than the +167k added in Q1), which tends to be used by providers like TalkTalk and Sky Broadband.

Ian Livingston, BT Group’s Outgoing CEO, said:

BT continues to make good progress, delivering another quarter of solid growth in underlying profit before tax. This is despite the impact of regulation and the significant investments we are making for the future.

It is early days but we are very pleased with the strong start in BT Sport. More than half a million households have now ordered BT Sport and that’s before the channels have even launched.

Our consumer line loss is at its lowest level in five years and we took a 50% share of the broadband market net additions. Our SME business grew revenues by 1%, the best performance in more than four years, and our BT Global Services order intake was up almost 50%.

Fibre remains at the heart of our plans and take-up is strong. Our fibre network now passes more than 16 million premises with more than 1.7 million connected.

I am immensely proud to have led BT over the last five years. The foundations are in place for an exciting future and I’m confident that BT will make even more progress under Gavin’s leadership and our talented team.”

Interestingly BT Retail’s broadband based BTVision and YouView (IPTV) TV service saw a sharp decline in growth by adding only +23,000 new customers in the quarter to total +833,000, which is down from +40k in Q1-2013. This was unusual given the May 2013 announcement of their free BTSport with broadband offer (here), although the service itself doesn’t launch until next month.

However BT admitted that it was still early days and noted that more than 500,000 households have now ordered BTSport, although “as expected” most of these are existing customers who have re-contracted their broadband service. BT expects the proportion of new customers to increase after they launch the channels on 1st August.

Overall BT Group’s consumer revenue reached £4,449m in the quarter (down from £4,785m in Q1-2013) and their reported operating profits topped £659m. It’s worth pointing out that the Q2 results have a history of being lower, which can often be connected to students leaving temporary accommodation and returning home for the summer.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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