BT Group contributes £592m boost to Northern Ireland economy

BT Group is responsible for generating £1 in every £65 produced in the Northern Ireland economy, according to an independent report published today.

BT Group is responsible for generating £1 in every £65 produced in the Northern Ireland economy, according to an independent report published today.

‘The Economic Impact of BT Group plc in the UK’ report, by Hatch Regeneris, shows that the communications company generated a £592m contribution – expressed as “Gross Value Added” (GVA)* – to the Northern Ireland economy during the 2017/18 financial year.

The report estimates that the equivalent of 6,980 full-time jobs in Northern Ireland are supported through BT’s direct employment, its spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of its employees.

BT Group directly employs 2,650 people in Northern Ireland, with a further 579 employed as contractors. This is equivalent to one in every 10 employees working in the Northern Ireland IT and communications sectors, reinforcing its position as one of the region’s leading employers.

The Group also spent nearly £154 million with suppliers based in Northern Ireland.

Across the UK, BT Group directly employed 94,800 people (FTE) and supported an estimated total of 290,000 full-time jobs. It also generated, in total, almost £23bn (£22.8bn) to the UK economy.

Tim Fanning, Director at Hatch Regeneris, said: “Our analysis underlines how vast BT Group’s contribution is to the UK economy, particularly across the nations and regions.

“BT Group is almost unique in contributing to the economies of virtually every community across the UK, supporting significant levels of GVA spend and employment opportunities per region.”

The report from Hatch Regeneris comes in addition to a recent report by PWC1 which highlighted that BT Group is the 5th highest tax contributor in the UK among FTSE 100 companies, and the highest contributor among non-financial companies. The PWC report also identified BT as the largest capital expenditure investor in the UK.

The report has been welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Angela McGowan, Regional Director, CBIsaid: “This latest research demonstrates the extent to which BT continues to have a massive impact on our local economy and jobs. It’s great to see this significant presence in Northern Ireland.

“BT Group’s investment in the area not only means a boost to the local economy, but also to skills and high quality jobs, including recruiting apprentices and graduates. BT’s investment in the fastest networks and latest technology is also vital for the region as well as the fact that they are a large purchaser for local supply chains. BT’s success is based on smart investments in both technology and people.”

Jane Wood, BT Group UK nations and regions director, said: “Few companies play as important a role in Northern Ireland as BT Group. Not only does BT connect friends, families and businesses across the UK, but we also put premium fuel in the tank of the nation’s economy. The report shows that BT generates £1 in every £65 of wealth in Northern Ireland.

“We’re proud to be one of the region’s largest private sector employers and investors. Our investments, including the latest 5G mobile technology through our mobile network EE, will ensure the UK continues to be one of the world’s best-connected economies.

“With more than 2,650 people directly employed in the region, spending their salaries in local businesses, as well as regularly volunteering on activities such as our Barefoot tech literacy programme in schools, our people are at the heart of nearly every community.”

The report includes the contribution of all parts of BT Group, including Openreach, mobile network provider EE and BT’s Consumer and Enterprise divisions.

The report highlights that, across Northern Ireland in 2017/18, BT Group:

Directly employed a total of 3,230 people (FTE, including contractors) and supported an estimated 6,980 full-time jobs

Spent £154 million with suppliers based in the Northern Ireland

Generated £592 million total GVA impact (including indirect and induced effects)

Directly employed 1 in every 230 employees in the private sector across Northern Ireland, and 1 in every 10 in the IT and Communications sectors

Supported £1 in every £65 of GVA in the Northern Ireland economy and 1 in every 100 employees working in the region’s private sector.

Across the UK in 2017/18, BT Group:

Directly employed 94,800 people (FTE) and supported an estimated total of 290,000 full-time jobs

Employees committed more than 37,000 volunteering days to worthy causes

Spent £510 million on research and development, making it one of the UK’s top investors in innovation.

The full report is available at: www.bt.com/reports


Notes to Editors

*Gross Value Added (GVA) measures the value of all goods and services produced in an economy. GVA combines wages and operating profits from companies and other organisations. Growing GVA can reflect improvements in workforce skills, productivity, R&D and innovation. The figures for BT show the value added directly through BT's services and additional value generated through BT's suppliers across the nations and regions.

1 PWC Total Tax Contribution of UK FTSE100 companies 2018. BT is:

5th highest contributor (amongst FTSE100 respondents) of UK taxes (borne and collected) – with the 4 slots above BT occupied by banks (HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, RBS);

4th highest payer of UK wages and salaries;

2nd highest overall distributor of “value” into the UK, where value is the sum of taxes borne, taxes collected, wages and salaries paid, interest paid, and equity returns (which are available for reinvestment, dividends and pension deficit payments) ;

Highest capex investor.