BT has announced a 14% increase in its yearly profits, leading the telecoms group to state that they are winning the battle with their rivals to bag new customers.
The company’s profits rose to a total of £2.645bn pre-tax for the year – ending at March. Whilst its revenues fell by 2% to £17.85bn.
BT claim that much of its success is down to the ability of the consumer division to offer Premier League football coverage.
This rise in business translates to a total of just over 120,000 new customers in the first three months of 2015.
The company now claims to have beaten its rivals such as Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk for seven consecutive quarters in a row.
Their fibre optic broadband connection also saw high levels of success. They reportedly have had 455,000 new customers sign up for that service since the beginning of the year, until the end of March. This marks a 31% increase on the first three months of last year.
The Impact of Premier League Football
The company forked out a massive £960m for the TV rights to 42 premier league games a season for three years beginning 2016-17. This was in a bid to attract more customers to their internet service.
Next season BT will also extend its coverage to the Champions League – the top tier cup competition of European Football. The company paid £897m for the television rights to these games. Gavin Patterson, the CEO of BT, said that there would be a “small subscription charge” for customers who want access to all 350 games that the new deal includes.
These new figures come after a few years of “reinvention” across BT as a company. They have begun targeting what is known as the “Quad Play” market – mobile phones, telephone lines, broadband and Pay TV.
In the past week, shareholders at the company have given the go-ahead for the £12.5bn takeover of the mobile network provider EE. This deal will grant BT a share of the mobile section of the telecoms market – once the deal is approved by regulators.
Analysts have already begun to observe the strong position that BT have managed to manoeuvre for themselves.
Richard Hunter, of Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said:
“The jigsaw is slotting into place,”
“Within the headline numbers, and assuming that the EE deal gains approval, BT will have market leading positions in three of the offerings making up the quad play proposition.”
“Even the fourth, namely TV, will have exclusive Champions League football in addition to the Premier League rights recently negotiated. As such, the overall quad play bundle will become an increasingly compelling offer for consumers.”
BT are also cutting its operating costs, having announced that there will be “a 6% decline in operating costs in the fourth quarter”.
The dividend the company will pay this year will be 14% more than last year, at 12.4p per share.