BT has improved its profit forecast for the financial year after a “strong operating performance”.
The telecoms firm, Britain’s biggest fixed-line and mobile operator, raised the lower end of its earnings outlook for the year from £7.2bn to £7.3bn, with the upper end remaining at £7.5bn.
Adjusted earnings for the period to 30 September were £3.7bn, a fall of 5%, and half-year revenue fell by 8% to £10.6bn, with the firm blaming lower BT Sport sales and reduced business activity in its enterprise units.
Chief executive Philip Jansen said: “BT delivered financial results in line with expectations for the first half of the year, thanks to strong operational performance during exceptional circumstances.
“Customer demand during the pandemic has shown how critical our networks have become, and our significant network investments have helped us double the number of Openreach’s FTTP (fibre to the premises) orders compared to this time last year and have seen our leading 5G network expand to 112 towns and cities across the UK.
“We continue to invest to make BT more competitive and I’m pleased to see the quality of our products and services improving.
“At the same time we are firmly on track with the delivery of our modernisation programme and have delivered £352m in cost savings in the first half of the year.”
The results come a day after it was announced that Ericsson will supply equipment for BT’s 5G network in major UK cities, including London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.
The Swedish firm’s equipment is expected to manage around half of 5G traffic for BT and its main brand EE, with Nokia already having been announced as another partner in the project.