Allison Kirkby has officially taken the reins at BT, unveiling her first set of financial results as the company’s new chief executive. The figures, reflecting the final quarter of 2023, show a modest increase in revenue to £5.3 billion, up from £5.2 billion, with adjusted EBITDA holding steady at £2 billion. This performance was bolstered by positive developments within Openreach and the Consumer division, though slightly hampered by the challenges faced by BT Business, including cost issues and a downturn in legacy product sales.
Over the nine-month period leading up to December 31, BT saw a 3 percent rise in revenue, reaching £15.8 billion, attributed to heightened prices and a boost in fibre product and service sales through Openreach and Consumer. This uptick propelled pre-tax profits by 15 percent to £1.5 billion.
Despite the financials appearing unremarkable, BT has made significant operational strides. Openreach notably increased its FTTP (Fiber to the Premises) build rate to 73,000 premises weekly, achieving a quarterly record by extending its reach to 950,000 premises. Currently, its network encompasses 13 million premises, with plans to expand to an additional 6 million already in motion.
Furthermore, the third fiscal quarter saw Openreach’s FTTP connections grow by 432,000, bringing the total to 4.4 million, with a 34 percent uptake rate. On the consumer front, BT’s retail FTTP customer base saw a 46 percent increase year-on-year, reaching 2.4 million, nearly all of whom are consumer customers. Additionally, its 5G user base expanded by 30 percent to 10.3 million.
Kirkby remains optimistic about BT’s trajectory, emphasizing the company’s commitment to enhancing digital connectivity and laying the groundwork for future growth. This leadership change follows Philip Jansen’s tenure, during which BT refocused on its core network and connectivity services, accelerated fibre deployment, and underwent significant restructuring efforts, despite facing challenges such as workforce and customer dissatisfaction.
As Kirkby steps forward, she is faced with the task of building upon Jansen’s stabilizing efforts, steering BT into a new era of growth and innovation while maintaining its strategic focus.