January 31, 2019 / 7:26 AM / 6 months ago

BT boss signs off with better-than-expected quarter

FILE PHOTO: Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive BT Group, arrives for a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street in London, Britain, June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - BT Group’s outgoing CEO Gavin Patterson said he was handing over a company with good momentum after it reported third-quarter adjusted revenue and core earnings ahead of market forecasts on Thursday and reiterated its guidance for the year.

Britain’s biggest broadband operator reported revenue of 5.98 billion pounds ($7.85 billion), down 1 percent, and core earnings of 1.88 billion pounds, down 3 percent, for the quarter to the end of December, beating analysts’ expectations of 5.93 billion pounds and 1.82 billion pounds respectively.

Patterson, who is being replaced by Worldpay’s Philip Jansen on Friday, said the former telecoms monopoly had delivered a sound quarter operationally and financially.

Revenue and earnings grew strongly in its consumer business, helped by a September price increase and higher handset costs, offset by a decline in its enterprise business and in its Openreach networks arm, which was hit by regulated price cuts.

Patterson said he still expected full-year earnings to be at the top end of guidance of 7.3 billion to 7.4 billion pounds.

“We continue to expect regulation, competition, cost inflation and legacy product declines to impact in the short term before being more than offset by improved trading and cost transformation by our 2020/21 financial year,” he said.

“I am handing over the business with good momentum behind its ongoing transformation program and wish my colleagues all the best for the future.”

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Susan Fenton and Mark Potter

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