Results for the half year to 30 September 2019

BT Group plc (BT.L) today announced its results for the half year to 30 September 2019.

Key strategic developments:

  • Launched a host of new products for consumer and business segments, including the new BT Halo converged product plans and BT Mobile 5G

  • Introduced a range of new service initiatives including bringing the BT brand to the high street in over 600 EE/BT dual-branded stores, and to answer 100% of customer calls in the UK & Ireland from January 2020

  • Continued to make progress on the BT modernisation agenda, including delivering over £1.1bn transformation benefits, announcing the first locations in our Better Workplace Programme, and disposal of BT Fleet Solutions

  • Outlined our Skills for Tomorrow programme to provide digital skills training for 10m UK children, families and businesses


  • 5G network live in over 20 cities and large towns; 5G smartphone plans now available on both EE and BT brands

  • Openreach announced the launch of new FTTP 1Gbps and 550Mbps products. FTTP rollout at c.23k premises passed per week; 4.2m ultrafast (FTTP and Gfast) premises passed to date; currently announced plans to build FTTP in 103 locations

  • Consumer fixed ARPC £38.5, broadly flat year on year; postpaid mobile ARPC £20.8, down 5.5% year on year due to impact of regulation and continued trend towards SIM-only; RGUs per address up to 2.38

  • Postpaid mobile churn remains low at 1.2% in Q2 despite impact of auto switching; fixed churn at 1.3% in Q2 down from 1.6% in prior year


  • Reported revenue £11,467m, down 1%1 mainly reflecting the impact of regulation, declines in legacy products, and strategically reducing low margin business

  • Reported profit before tax £1,333m, broadly flat year on year; adjusted2 EBITDA £3,923m, down 3%1 due to lower revenues, increased spectrum fees, content costs and investment to improve competitive positioning partly offset by cost savings from transformation programmes

  • Net cash inflow from operating activities of £2,173m; normalised free cash flow2 of £604m, down 38% due to increased capital expenditure, higher interest and tax payments, partially offset by one-off cash flows

  • Capital expenditure £1,882m. Up £225m excluding BDUK grant funding deferral, driven by increased network investment

  • Net debt2 increased primarily due to implementation of IFRS 16, £6.1bn, and net business cash outflows, £1.2bn

  • Interim dividend of 4.62p per share; 30% of last year’s full-year dividend of 15.4p per share

  • Overall financial outlook maintained


Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, said

“BT delivered results in line with our expectations for the second quarter and first half of the year, and we remain on track to meet our outlook for the full year.

“We’ve invested to strengthen our competitive position. We’ve accelerated our 5G and FTTP rollouts, introduced an enhanced range of product and service initiatives for both consumer and business segments, and announced price and technology commitments to deliver fair, predictable and competitive pricing for customers.

“Openreach is significantly accelerating its pace of FTTP build and is now passing a home or business every 26 seconds. Openreach announced a further 29 locations in its build plan to reach 4m premises by March 2021, and we continue to make positive progress with Government and Ofcom on the enablers to stimulate further investment in full fibre.

“We continue to make progress on the BT modernisation agenda, delivering over £1.1bn in annualised cost savings, and announcing locations in our Better Workplace Programme.”


Customer-facing unit results for the half year to 30 September 2019

Glossary of alternative performance measures


Before specific items


Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation

Adjusted EBITDA

EBITDA before specific items, share of post tax profits/losses of associates and joint ventures and net non-interest related finance expense

Free cash flow

Net cash inflow from operating activities after net capital expenditure

Capital expenditure

Additions to property, plant and equipment and intangible assets in the period

Normalised free cash flow

Free cash flow after net interest paid and payment of lease liabilities, before pension deficit payments (including the cash tax benefit of pension deficit payments) and specific items

Net debt

Loans and other borrowings and lease liabilities (both current and non-current), less current asset investments and cash and cash equivalents. Currency denominated balances within net debt are translated into sterling at swapped rates where hedged. Fair value adjustments and accrued interest applied to reflect the effective interest method are removed

IFRS 16 pro forma

On 1 April 2019, BT adopted IFRS 16 Leases, which replaced IAS 17 Leases. To aid comparability, pro forma financial information for 2018/19 has been presented to reflect how the results would have looked like if the accounting standard had been adopted last year. See page 9 for more details.  

Specific items

Items that in management’s judgement need to be disclosed separately by virtue of their size, nature or incidence. Further information is provided in note 6 on page 25

We assess the performance of the group using a variety of alternative performance measures. The rationale for using adjusted measures is explained in note 1 on page 32. Results on an adjusted basis are presented before specific items. Reconciliations from the most directly comparable IFRS measures are in Additional Information on pages 32 to 34.


About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2019, BT Group’s reported revenue was £23,428m with reported profit before taxation of £2,666m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London stock exchange.