BT Group plc Results For The Second Quarter And Half Year To 30 September 2015

Oct 29, 2015, 14:16 ET from BT Group plc

IRVING, Texas, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- BT Group plc (BT.L) today announced its results for the second quarter and half year to 30 September 2015.



Second quarter to

30 September 2015

Half year to

30 September 2015



£m

Change

£m

Change

Revenue1


4,381

0%

8,659

(1)%

Change in underlying revenue2 excluding transit


2.0%


1.0%

EBITDA1


1,442

(1)%

2,891

0%

Profit before tax

- adjusted1

706

2%

1,400

5%


- reported

642

14%

1,274

15%

Earnings per share

- adjusted1

6.9p

0%

13.6p

2%


- reported

6.3p

13%

12.4p

11%

Interim dividend



4.4p

13%

Normalised free cash flow3

569

£36m

675

£20m

Net debt




5,919

£(1,144)m

Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, said:

"We've delivered a good financial performance with revenue4 up 2% this quarter.

"Fibre broadband is a success story and we continue to invest heavily to help the UK remain a broadband leader among major European nations.  Our open access fibre network now passes 24 million premises and we are not stopping there.  We want to get fibre broadband to as many people as possible and we are also pushing ahead with our plans to get ultrafast broadband to ten million premises by the end of 2020.  Market-wide demand for fibre remains strong with fibre net additions up 21% as we hit the five million milestone for homes and businesses connected.

"We've seen good demand for BT Sport Europe and this has helped us add a record number of BT TV customers in the quarter.  Its contribution has been better than we expected, helping drive a 7% increase in BT Consumer revenue.  Mobile is another growth area and I am pleased our consumer customer base now stands at more than 200,000.  And I am also pleased that yesterday, the Competition and Markets Authority provisionally approved our planned acquisition of EE, unconditionally without remedies.

"We are making step changes to improve customer service, as part of our group-wide programme.  Openreach's recently launched 'View my Engineer' service is going down well.  The 3,000 engineers we hired in the last 18 months are helping us fix faults faster and provide new services sooner.  We have also created more than 1,000 new contact centre jobs in the UK, with hundreds more to come, to meet our 2016 commitment for more than 80% of consumer customer calls to be answered in the UK.  And we have plans to go even further in years to come.

"Our strategy is delivering and our results show we're on track to achieve our outlook for the year."

Key points for the second quarter:

  • Growth in underlying revenue excluding transit, up 2.0%
  • EBITDA1 down 1% reflecting our investment in BT Sport Europe
  • 106,000 BT TV net additions, our best ever performance
  • Strong order book across the group
  • Interim dividend of 4.4p, up 13%

1 Before specific items.  Specific items are defined on page 3
2 Excludes specific items, foreign exchange movements and the effect of acquisitions and disposals
3 Before specific items, pension deficit payments and the cash tax benefit of pension deficit payments
4 Change in underlying revenue excluding transit

GROUP RESULTS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER AND HALF YEAR TO 30 SEPTEMBER 2015





Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

Change

2015

2014

Change


£m

£m

%

£m

£m

%

Revenue







- adjusted1

4,381

4,383

0

8,659

8,737

(1)

- reported

4,459

4,441

0

8,819

8,795

0

- change in underlying revenue2 excluding transit



2.0



1.0

EBITDA







- adjusted1

1,442

1,450

(1)

2,891

2,885

0

- reported

1,436

1,396

3

2,878

2,787

3

Operating profit







- adjusted1

819

832

(2)

1,640

1,615

2

- reported

813

778

4

1,627

1,517

7

Profit before tax







- adjusted1

706

690

2

1,400

1,328

5

- reported

642

563

14

1,274

1,109

15

Earnings per share







- adjusted1

6.9p

6.9p

0

13.6

13.4p

2

- reported

6.3p

5.6p

13

12.4

11.2p

11

Interim dividend




4.4p

3.9p

13

Capital expenditure

629

533

18

1,287

1,049

23

Normalised free cash flow3

569

533

7

675

655

3

Net debt




5,919

7,063

£(1,144)m









Line of business results1


Revenue

EBITDA

Free cash flow3

Second quarter to

2015

2014

Change


2015

2014

Change

2015

2014

Change

30 September

£m

£m

%


£m

£m

%

£m

£m

%

BT Global Services

1,559

1,649

(5)

216

226

(4)

113

35

223

BT Business

781

789

(1)

261

258

1

215

231

(7)

BT Consumer

1,127

1,056

7

202

225

(10)

53

105

(50)

BT Wholesale

520

529

(2)

127

125

2

63

60

5

Openreach

1,267

1,245

2

648

627

3

329

339

(3)

Other and intra-group items

(873)

(885)

1

(12)

(11)

(9)

(204)

(237)

14

Total

4,381

4,383

0

1,442

1,450

(1)

569

533

7












1 Before specific items 
2 Excludes specific items, foreign exchange movements and the effect of acquisitions and disposals
3 Before specific items, pension deficit payments and the cash tax benefit of pension deficit payments

Notes:




1.

The commentary focuses on the trading results on an adjusted basis, which is a non-GAAP measure, being before specific items.  Unless otherwise stated, revenue, operating costs, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), operating profit, profit before tax, net finance expense, earnings per share (EPS) and normalised free cash flow are measured before specific items.  This is consistent with the way that financial performance is measured by management and reported to the Board and the Operating Committee and assists in providing a meaningful analysis of the trading results of the group.  The directors believe that presentation of the group's results in this way is relevant to the understanding of the group's financial performance as specific items are those that in management's judgement need to be disclosed by virtue of their size, nature or incidence.  In determining whether an event or transaction is specific, management considers quantitative as well as qualitative factors such as the frequency or predictability of occurrence.  Specific items may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.  Reported revenue, reported operating costs, reported EBITDA, reported operating profit, reported profit before tax, reported net finance expense, reported EPS and reported free cash flow are the equivalent unadjusted or statutory measures. 



2.

Trends in underlying revenue, trends in underlying operating costs, and underlying EBITDA are non-GAAP measures which seek to reflect the underlying performance of the group that will contribute to long-term sustainable growth and as such exclude the impact of acquisitions and disposals, foreign exchange movements and any specific items.  We focus on the trends in underlying revenue and underlying operating costs excluding transit as transit traffic is low-margin and is significantly affected by reductions in mobile termination rates.

We held the second quarter and half year 2015/16 results presentation for analysts and investors at 9.00am today in London and a simultaneous webcast will be available at www.bt.com/results

 We are scheduled to announce the third quarter results for 2015/16 on Friday 29 January 2016.

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 more than 170 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 principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group's reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

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 stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com

BT Group plc

GROUP RESULTS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER TO 30 SEPTEMBER 2015

Overview
Our key measure of the group's revenue trend, underlying revenue excluding transit, was up 2.0%.  This growth was driven by BT Consumer where broadband and TV revenue was up 17% helped by strong demand for fibre broadband and the launch of BT Sport Europe, where the contribution has been better than we expected.  Openreach revenue was up 2% with growth in fibre broadband partly offset by regulatory price changes, and BT Wholesale grew its underlying revenue excluding transit again.  Within our business divisions, BT Business underlying revenue excluding transit was flat while in BT Global Services a strong performance in Continental Europe helped offset the ongoing declines in the UK.

Underlying operating costs1 excluding transit were up 3%.  As we highlighted in our fourth quarter results, EBITDA this year will no longer benefit from the sale of redundant copper and will be impacted by higher leaver costs (as last year most were included within specific items), a higher pensions operating charge and our investment in BT Sport Europe.  Without these effects, underlying operating costs1 excluding transit would have been down 1%.  Adjusted EBITDA was down 1% with our investment in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League rights largely offset by the benefit of our cost transformation activities.  Excluding foreign exchange movements and the effect of acquisitions and disposals, our underlying EBITDA was flat.

We added 106,000 BT TV customers, our best performance ever.  With the first UEFA Champions League group stage matches starting at the end of the quarter, initial viewing figures are encouraging.  We were also pleased with the launch of the new AMC channel, which is exclusive to BT.

Order intakes were good across the group.  On a rolling twelve-month basis, order intake was up 16% to £7.1bn in BT Global Services and up 39% to £2.1bn in BT Wholesale, reflecting some large contract wins.  It was also up 1% to £2.1bn in BT Business. 

On 28 October the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally approved our £12.5bn acquisition of EE, unconditionally without remedies.  The CMA has provisionally decided that the acquisition is not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition.  The CMA has said that it will publish its final decision by 18 January 2016.  We welcome the provisional approval; the combined BT and EE will be good for the UK, providing investment and making sure consumers and businesses can benefit from more innovation in a highly competitive market.  It also brings us a step closer to creating a true digital champion to serve the UK.  The planned acquisition will accelerate our existing mobility strategy, where more than 200,000 consumer customers have joined us to date.

In September we set out our vision for the UK's digital future and the contribution BT can make, subject to regulatory support and the right policy framework.  We have four objectives:

  1. To deliver minimum broadband speeds of between 5Mbps and 10Mbps, as needed for every home to enjoy the most popular internet services, if Ofcom and the government take the action necessary to make this commercially viable.
  2. To expand the reach of fibre broadband in the UK beyond the government's current target of 95%.  Should the current public funding model be continued, we are willing to support the government to make sure homes and businesses in the most difficult and commercially-inaccessible areas are connected.
  3. To provide ultrafast broadband speeds of 300Mbps to 500Mbps to 10m premises by the end of 2020, plus a service offering up to 1Gbps for those who want even faster speeds.
  4. To deliver a higher service quality to our customers – businesses, households and other Communications Providers (CPs) – to match their growing expectations.

Alongside these ambitions, Openreach announced the Openreach Charter which sets out its specific commitments.  As well as investing in coverage and speed, Openreach will raise its service standards, offering quicker installations and faster fixes.  For business customers, Openreach: will increase the number of new Ethernet circuit connections by over 30% this year; will continue to significantly increase speed of service delivery and improve the number of on-time installations; and is committed to introducing new Ethernet minimum service levels, working closely with industry and Ofcom.  Openreach has launched a new 'View my Engineer' service, which provides text progress updates, as well as the engineer's name and phone number ahead of an appointment.  Openreach aims to achieve 95% on-time installations by 2017, which is ahead of Ofcom's minimum service level.

We have passed 24m premises with our fibre broadband network, over 80% of the UK.  We achieved 415,000 fibre broadband net connections, an increase of 21%.  This brings the number of homes and businesses connected to 5m, 21% of those passed.  We have 3.4m retail fibre broadband customers, having added 212,000 this quarter.  And the UK broadband market2 grew by 160,000, of which our share was 82,000 or 51%.

1 Excludes specific items, foreign exchange movements and the effect of acquisitions and disposals, and is before depreciation and amortisation
2 DSL and fibre

We are making good progress with our trials of ultrafast fibre broadband, with homes and businesses participating in the trial getting speeds of up to 330Mbps using G.fast technology.  And we see the potential to go faster still – a future variant of the technology, XG-FAST, achieved a speed of 5.6Gbps over a typical 35 metre copper cable in tests carried out at our research campus in Suffolk.

Income statement
Reported revenue of £4,459m was flat.  This included ladder pricing transit revenue of £78m relating to previous years which we have treated as a specific item.  Last year reported revenue included a specific item benefit of £58m relating to ladder pricing agreements.  Adjusted revenue, which excludes specific items, was also flat at £4,381m.  We had a £53m negative impact from foreign exchange movements, a £33m reduction in transit revenue and a £2m impact from disposals.  Excluding these, underlying revenue excluding transit was up 2.0%. 

Adjusted operating costs1 were flat.  Net labour costs decreased 3%, or 1% excluding foreign exchange movements and the effect of acquisitions and disposals.  This decrease was despite £20m (Q2 2014/15: £1m) of leaver costs and an £8m increase in the pensions operating charge.  Excluding these, net labour costs were down 4% due to further efficiencies achieved by our cost transformation programmes.

Payments to telecommunications operators were down 3% and Other costs were down 1%.  These reductions were offset by higher programme rights charges which increased by £52m to £135m, primarily reflecting the launch of BT Sport Europe.  Network operating and IT costs were up 7% and property and energy costs were flat.

Adjusted EBITDA of £1,442m was down 1%.  Depreciation and amortisation of £623m was up 1% and adjusted net finance expense was £112m, down £31m primarily due to lower net debt.  As a result, adjusted profit before tax was £706m, up 2%.  Reported profit before tax (which includes specific items) was £642m, up 14%.  The effective tax rate on the profit before specific items was 18.3% (Q2 2014/15: 19.9%).  

Adjusted EPS of 6.9p was flat.  Reported EPS (which includes specific items) was 6.3p, up 13%.  Our EPS measures are based on a weighted average number of shares in issue of 8,339m (Q2 2014/15: 8,027m).  The average number of shares in issue is 4% higher than a year ago reflecting employee share schemes having matured and the equity placing in February to part fund our planned acquisition of EE.

Specific items
Specific items resulted in a net charge after tax of £52m (Q2 2014/15: £107m).  This mainly reflects net interest expense on pensions of £56m (Q2 2014/15: £73m) and £8m of costs relating to the planned acquisition of EE.  We also recognised £78m of both transit revenue and costs, being the impact of ladder pricing agreements relating to prior years following a Supreme Court judgment last year.  The tax credit on specific items was £12m (Q2 2014/15: £20m).  Last year, specific items included restructuring charges of £60m and a net EBITDA credit of £5m relating to ladder pricing and regulatory risks. 

Capital expenditure
Capital expenditure was £629m (Q2 2014/15: £533m) after £62m (Q2 2014/15: £95m) of net grant funding mainly relating to the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.  The higher capital expenditure was mainly due to our fibre rollout, connecting new homes, and higher volumes of Ethernet provision.  To date, we have deferred a total of £157m of grant funding reflecting the strong fibre take-up in BDUK areas.  This will potentially be reinvested or repaid in future financial years.

Free cash flow
Normalised free cash flow2 was an inflow of £569m, an increase of £36m compared with last year.  The net cash cost of specific items was £30m (Q2 2014/15: £75m) mainly comprising prior year restructuring costs of £14m, EE acquisition-related costs of £8m, property rationalisation costs of £4m and payments relating to historical Ethernet pricing of £3m (following a 2012 Ofcom determination).  After specific items and a £46m (Q2 2014/15: £19m) cash tax benefit from pension deficit payments, reported free cash flow was an inflow of £585m (Q2 2014/15: £477m).

Net debt and liquidity
Net debt was £5,919m at 30 September 2015, an increase of £100m since 30 June 2015 and £800m higher than at 31 March 2015.  In the quarter, reported free cash flow of £585m and proceeds of £81m from the exercise of employee share options were offset by payments of £704m on dividends and a cash cost of £61m on our share buyback programme for the purchase of 13m shares.  So far this year we have spent £250m on our share buyback programme and we continue to expect to spend around £300m on the programme for the year as a whole.

1 Before depreciation and amortisation
2 Before specific items, pension deficit payments and the cash tax benefit of pension deficit payments

Debt of £0.8bn matured in July and a further £0.4bn is repayable during the remainder of 2015/16.  At 30 September 2015 the group held cash and current investment balances of £1.8bn.  We also have a £1.5bn committed facility and a £3.6bn committed acquisition facility to be used for the planned EE transaction, both of which are undrawn.  We have extended our £1.5bn committed facility by one year to September 2020.

Pensions
The IAS 19 net pension position at 30 September 2015 was a deficit of £5.6bn net of tax (£7.0bn gross of tax) compared with £5.8bn net of tax (£7.2bn gross of tax) at 30 June 2015.  The reduction primarily reflects a decrease in the liabilities due to lower future inflation expectations largely offset by a decline in asset values due to market conditions.  The IAS 19 accounting position and key assumptions are provided in Note 10.

Regulation
In August, Ofcom issued supplementary guidance on how the 'minimum margin' test in respect of fibre broadband would be impacted by a material change in circumstances (which would include the launch of our UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League content).  Whilst we welcome this new guidance, it still does not provide enough flexibility around how we recover our sport costs, and we believe does not address the concerns raised by the European Commission about the test.

In August, the Court of Appeal granted us permission to appeal the August 2014 decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal relating to a dispute on historical Ethernet pricing that was originally determined by Ofcom in 2012.  Our appeal was granted on three legal grounds, including whether Ofcom had the power to require us to make the payments it determined in the dispute and if it has the power to award interest charges on these payments.  Ofcom has therefore deferred its final determination on the amount of interest payable on claims under this dispute until the Court hears the appeal, which we expect to take place during 2016/17.

In October, we and other parties responded to Ofcom's discussion document in its Strategic Review of Digital Communications.  We believe regulation should make sure customers' needs are met by ensuring efficient investment and delivering effective competition across the whole of industry, including pay-TV as well as communications.  Ofcom has a key role to play by modernising the regulatory framework in the following key areas:

  • Long-term commitment – Ofcom should make long-term commitments in regulation to secure the long-term investments necessary to meet future customers' needs;
  • Support for investment – Ofcom should not price regulate services that depend on new investments before payback has been achieved. Britain has gained, and will continue to gain, from Openreach being part of BT – benefiting from more investment, coverage and speed. We have called on Ofcom to reject at the earliest opportunity the calls from some other CPs for structural separation;
  • Consolidation – Ofcom should support consolidation that promotes investment and competition;
  • Balance between service quality and price – Ofcom should take customers' service needs into account when setting price controls;
  • Level playing field – Ofcom needs to ensure a level playing field of competition across the whole industry and should focus its efforts on the competition problems in pay-TV; and
  • Regulate only where necessary – Ofcom should apply the minimum regulation necessary to ensure markets work for customers without distortion.

Dividends
In line with our full year outlook for 10%-15% growth in dividends per share, the Board has declared an interim dividend of 4.4p per share, up 13%, and totalling £368m (Q2 2014/15: £316m).  It will be paid on 8 February 2016 to shareholders on the register on 29 December 2015.  The ex-dividend date is 24 December 2015.  The election date for participation in BT's Dividend Investment Plan in respect of this dividend is also 29 December 2015.  The final dividend for the year to 31 March 2015 of 8.5p, amounting to £710m, was approved at the Annual General Meeting on 15 July 2015.

2015/16 outlook
Our outlook is unchanged.  We continue to expect growth in underlying revenue excluding transit in 2015/16 with modest growth in adjusted EBITDA.  Normalised free cash flow is expected to be around £2.8bn.  We continue to expect to grow our dividend per share by 10%-15% and to complete a share buyback of around £300m to help offset the dilutive effect of maturing all-employee share plans.  We are targeting a BBB+/Baa1 credit rating over the medium term.

GROUP RESULTS FOR THE HALF YEAR TO 30 SEPTEMBER 2015

Income statement
Reported revenue of £8,819m was flat.  Adjusted revenue of £8,659m was down 1% with a £101m negative impact from foreign exchange movements, a £57m reduction in transit revenue and a £6m impact from disposals. 

Underlying revenue excluding transit was up 1.0% in the first half reflecting growth in BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach, which was partly offset by revenue declines elsewhere, including lower UK revenue in BT Global Services.  

Adjusted operating costs1 were down 1%.  Net labour costs decreased 4%, or 3% excluding foreign exchange movements and the effect of acquisitions and disposals.  Excluding the impact of higher leaver costs and higher pensions operating charges, net labour costs were down 5% due to further efficiencies achieved by our cost transformation programmes.  Payments to telecommunications operators were down 5%, largely benefiting from foreign exchange movements.  Network operating and IT costs were down 4%.  These reductions were offset by higher programme rights charges which increased by £60m to £221m primarily reflecting the launch of BT Sport Europe.  Other costs were up 1% and property and energy costs were flat.

Adjusted EBITDA was flat at £2,891m.  Excluding foreign exchange movements and the effect of acquisitions and disposals, underlying EBITDA was up 1%.

Depreciation and amortisation of £1,251m was down 1%.  Adjusted net finance expense was £244m, a decrease of £44m primarily due to lower net debt.

Adjusted profit before tax of £1,400m was up 5% reflecting the lower net finance expense and higher operating profit.  Reported profit before tax (which includes specific items) was £1,274m, up 15%.  The effective tax rate on the profit before specific items was 18.6% (HY 2014/15: 19.9%). 

Adjusted EPS was 13.6p, up 2%, and reported EPS (which includes specific items) was 12.4p, up 11%.  These are based on a weighted average number of shares in issue of 8,334m (HY 2014/15: 7,942m).

Specific items
Specific items resulted in a net charge after tax of £103m (HY 2014/15: £177m).  This reflects net interest expense on pensions of £111m (HY 2014/15: £146m) and £15m of costs relating to the planned acquisition of EE.  We recognised £160m of both transit revenue and costs, being the impact of ladder pricing agreements relating to prior years following a Supreme Court judgment last year.  The tax credit on specific items was £23m (HY 2014/15: £42m).  Last year, specific items included restructuring charges of £104m, a net EBITDA credit of £5m in relation to ladder pricing and regulatory risks and a profit of £25m on the disposal of our interest in an associate.

Capital expenditure
Capital expenditure was £1,287m (HY 2014/15: £1,049m) after £65m (HY 2014/15: £173m) of net grant funding mainly relating to the BDUK programme.  The higher capital expenditure was mainly due to our fibre rollout, the expansion of our network to new homes, and higher volumes of Ethernet provision.

Free cash flow
Normalised free cash flow2 was an inflow of £675m, an increase of £20m compared with last year.

The net cash cost of specific items was £82m (HY 2014/15: £155m).  Payments relating to prior year restructuring costs of £65m, EE acquisition-related costs of £24m and historical Ethernet pricing of £19m (following a 2012 Ofcom determination), were partly offset by receipts of £40m relating to ladder pricing revenue.  After specific items and a £115m (HY 2014/15: £38m) cash tax benefit from pension deficit payments, reported free cash flow was an inflow of £708m (HY 2014/15: £538m).

Free cash flow excludes the £625m pension deficit payment made in April 2015.

Principal risks and uncertainties
A summary of the group's principal risks and uncertainties is provided in Note 15.

1 Before depreciation and amortisation
2 Before specific items, pension deficit payments and the cash tax benefit of pension deficit payments

OPERATING REVIEW

BT Global Services



Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

Change

2015

2014

Change


£m

£m

£m

%

£m

£m

£m

%

Revenue

1,559

1,649

(90)

(5)

3,102

3,296

(194)

(6)

- underlying excluding transit




(2)




(3)

Operating costs

1,343

1,423

(80)

(6)

2,696

2,857

(161)

(6)

EBITDA

216

226

(10)

(4)

406

439

(33)

(8)

Depreciation & amortisation

130

124

6

5

257

264

(7)

(3)

Operating profit

86

102

(16)

(16)

149

175

(26)

(15)










Capital expenditure

107

116

(9)

(8)

193

222

(29)

(13)

Operating cash flow

113

35

78

223

(179)

(302)

123

41

Revenue declined 5% including a £45m negative impact from foreign exchange movements and a £9m decline in transit revenue.  Underlying revenue excluding transit decreased 2% primarily reflecting lower revenue in the UK and in the US and Canada.

UK revenue was down 8%.  This was an improvement on recent quarters but continues to reflect the decline in public sector revenue.  In the US and Canada underlying revenue excluding transit declined 11% as a major customer has started to insource some services.  In the high-growth regions1 underlying revenue excluding transit declined 2%.  Growth in AMEA was more than offset by declines in some Latin American countries which continue to reflect our change in portfolio focus, given currency uncertainty.  Underlying revenue excluding transit grew by 12% in Continental Europe.  This was better than recent quarters reflecting higher IP Exchange volumes in the quarter and the delivery of some major customer contracts.

Total order intake in the quarter was £1.8bn, up 36%, and £7.1bn on a rolling twelve-month basis, up 16%.  We renewed our contract with Caixa Econômica Federal by a further five years, increasing the number of lottery outlets that we will serve in Brazil from 14,000 to 18,000 during the term of the contract.  We have become an international IT partner for Walgreens Boots Alliance under a new five-year contract, upgrading and expanding their IT network in around 20 countries across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.  We also signed a new five-year contract with Alstom Transport to provide a complete managed network services solution at 350 locations across all continents.

As part of our 'Cloud of Clouds' strategy, we launched cloud-based communications and collaboration services which make it easier for our customers to integrate video, conferencing and messaging platforms delivered by different providers.  We introduced cloud-based DDoS mitigation services that will improve security for our customers globally.  We launched a solution that allows our customers to access Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 suite across the globe, delivering speed, security and reliability.  We also extended our ethical hacking service to help financial sector organisations test their resilience to cyber-attacks and secure their data.

Operating costs declined 6% with underlying operating costs excluding transit down 2%.  EBITDA was 4% lower, or down 3% excluding foreign exchange movements.  As in the first quarter, the decline mainly reflects the impact of our major health programmes moving into their service and maintenance phase and the impact of leaver costs, with these partially offset by the benefit of our cost transformation programmes.  Included in EBITDA were leaver costs of £5m (Q2 2014/15: £nil).  While we expect to incur further leaver costs during the remainder of the year, we expect EBITDA in the second half to grow year on year.  

Depreciation and amortisation was up 5% due to the timing of recognition on certain contracts.  Operating profit of £86m was down 16%.

Capital expenditure was down 8% due to the timing of project related expenditure.  Operating cash inflow was £113m, an increase of £78m as a result of improved collections and the timing of contract-specific cash flows.

1 Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (AMEA) and Latin America

BT Business


Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

Change

2015

2014

Change


£m

£m

£m

%

£m

£m

£m

%

Revenue

781

789

(8)

(1)

1,530

1,551

(21)

(1)

- underlying excluding transit




0




0

Operating costs

520

531

(11)

(2)

1,029

1,053

(24)

(2)

EBITDA

261

258

3

1

501

498

3

1

Depreciation & amortisation

49

45

4

9

99

88

11

13

Operating profit

212

213

(1)

0

402

410

(8)

(2)










Capital expenditure

37

32

5

16

72

56

16

29

Operating cash flow

215

231

(16)

(7)

331

421

(90)

(21)

Revenue was down 1% with underlying revenue excluding transit flat.

SME & Corporate voice revenue decreased 1% with higher average revenue per user partly mitigating the continued fall in business line volumes, as customers move to data and VoIP services.  The number of traditional lines declined 7% but this was partly offset by a 49% increase in the number of IP lines.

SME & Corporate data and networking revenue increased 3% with continued growth in our networking products and fibre broadband.  Business fibre broadband net additions were up 38%.  IT services revenue decreased 4% due to lower hardware sales as we continue to focus our strategy more towards providing higher margin managed services.  BT Ireland had another good quarter, with its underlying revenue excluding transit up 14%, helped by some ICT equipment sales in the Republic of Ireland and fibre broadband growth in Northern Ireland.  Foreign exchange movements had an £8m negative impact on BT Ireland revenue. 

Order intake in the quarter increased 16% to £538m and was up 1% to £2,121m on a rolling twelve-month basis.  BT Ireland signed a deal with Sky Ireland to transport all of its IP core internet traffic, and with the Department of Finance and Personnel to provide secure data centre facilities.  We also signed a deal with ICON for data centre services.

BT Cloud Voice (our business-grade IP voice service) and BT Cloud Phone (a 'plug and play' IP phone system), which we launched last financial year, continue to perform well.  Since the start of this quarter, the number of BT Cloud Voice users has increased 48% and the number of BT Cloud Phone subscriptions has more than doubled.

In May we launched Call Essentials, aimed at small UK businesses with up to 50 phone lines.  Customers can enjoy unlimited calls to UK landlines and mobiles for £10 a month, or with our international package they can make up to 2,500 minutes of calls to almost any international destination, also for £10 a month.  We have signed up around 30,000 customers since launch.

Operating costs were down 2%.  Underlying operating costs excluding transit were down 1% reflecting the benefit of our cost transformation programmes including a 3% reduction in total labour costs.  As a result, EBITDA grew 1%.  Depreciation and amortisation was up £4m and operating profit was flat.

Capital expenditure increased by £5m and operating cash flow was 7% lower mainly reflecting the timing of working capital movements.

BT Consumer


Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

Change

2015

2014

Change


£m

£m

£m

%

£m

£m

£m

%

Revenue

1,127

1,056

71

7

2,201

2,102

99

5

Operating costs

925

831

94

11

1,745

1,639

106

6

EBITDA

202

225

(23)

(10)

456

463

(7)

(2)

Depreciation & amortisation

58

54

4

7

108

109

(1)

(1)

Operating profit

144

171

(27)

(16)

348

354

(6)

(2)










Capital expenditure

56

52

4

8

108

91

17

19

Operating cash flow

53

105

(52)

(50)

264

332

(68)

(20)

Revenue was up 7% with a 17% increase in broadband and TV revenue and a 1% increase in calls and lines.  Consumer ARPU increased 6% to £427 driven by broadband and customers taking our new BT Sport Europe channels.

BT added 82,000 retail broadband customers, representing 51% of the DSL and fibre broadband market net additions.  Fibre broadband growth continued with 212,000 retail net additions, taking our customer base to 3.4m.  Of our broadband customers, 44% are now on fibre.

Our consumer line losses of 52,000 were the second lowest in over five years.  We continued to grow our BT Mobile business, which launched in March, with our customer base now over 200,000.

On 1 August, we launched our new BT Sport Pack, including the new home of European football, BT Sport Europe.  This pack is free for customers taking BT TV, £5 a month for BT broadband customers and is available via the satellite platform.  Its contribution in the quarter was ahead of our expectations and it has proved popular amongst our sport customers with the majority now enjoying our entire range of channels.  BT Sport average daily audience figures increased 47% in the quarter, with encouraging viewing figures from the UEFA Champions League so far.  In August, we announced that BT Sport had won the UK rights to show all Australian home cricket internationals, including the 2017/18 Ashes.  The five-year rights deal starts in 2016 and includes all Australian Test Matches, One Day Internationals and T20 Internationals played in Australia.

We added 106,000 BT TV customers, taking our customer base to 1.3m.  This is our best ever quarter reflecting the improvements we have made to our TV offering including the launch of BT Sport Europe and our new AMC TV channel.  In the quarter we launched our BT TV Ultra HD package, which includes Europe's very first live sports Ultra HD (4K) channel and our new BT TV Ultra HD set top box.  Also this quarter we announced a deal to make UKTV's full portfolio of channels available to BT customers for the very first time, with Eden, Good Food and Home joining the seven UKTV channels already on BT TV.  This means we now offer a total of 182 channels, including our BT Sport and AMC channels.

In the quarter, we launched our new online security product, BT Protect, which is free for all BT broadband customers and helps protect them from viruses, scams and phishing attacks by warning them if they are about to visit a potentially harmful website.  It protects devices such as laptops, tablets, mobiles and games consoles, connected both inside the customer's home and when using our BT Wi-fi hotspots around the UK.  BT Protect is proving to be very popular, with over 100,000 customers signing up in the first three weeks.  

We also launched the new My BT service app that means customers can check their latest bill, view their services, track a BT order and change an engineer appointment, and includes tools to help optimise a customer's broadband.  BT is the only broadband provider to offer these tools via an app.  It is also possible to contact BT directly through the app if a customer wants to email, live chat or speak to an advisor.

Operating costs increased 11% as a result of the launch of BT Sport Europe and AMC, leading to a 10% reduction in EBITDA.  Depreciation and amortisation increased 7% and operating profit was down 16%.

Capital expenditure was up £4m in the quarter.  Operating cash flow decreased £52m as a result of the lower EBITDA and the phasing of rights payments for BT Sport Europe content, which were partially offset by favourable other working capital movements.

BT Wholesale


Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

Change

2015

2014

Change


£m

£m

£m

%

£m

£m

£m

%

Revenue

520

529

(9)

(2)

1,050

1,054

(4)

0

- underlying excluding transit




3




4

Operating costs

393

404

(11)

(3)

783

803

(20)

(2)

EBITDA

127

125

2

2

267

251

16

6

Depreciation & amortisation

55

55

0

0

113

114

(1)

(1)

Operating profit

72

70

2

3

154

137

17

12










Capital expenditure

46

53

(7)

(13)

90

106

(16)

(15)

Operating cash flow

63

60

3

5

180

71

109

154

Revenue decreased 2% driven by a £25m decline in transit revenue.  Underlying revenue excluding transit was up 3% reflecting ongoing growth in IP services, where revenue was up 22%.

This partly reflects a 23% increase in IP Exchange voice minutes, a platform that now carries over two billion minutes a month.  Ethernet continues to grow strongly with a 26% increase in the rental base, helped by network deals we have won.  We continue to invest in our data product set and in July we launched our new Wholesale Optical product which allows CPs to respond rapidly to their customers' changing bandwidth needs.

Managed solutions revenue was up 1%.  Calls, lines and circuits revenue was flat, with some specific work for some major customers offsetting declining volumes. 

Broadband revenue declined 12%, an improvement on last quarter's decline of 21% helped by lower migration to LLU this quarter.  While migration to LLU continues to reduce the total size of our wholesale broadband base, fibre broadband has seen a pick-up in growth, reflecting demand across the market.

Order intake in the quarter was £349m, up 40% reflecting some key wins across IP Exchange and private circuits.  On a rolling twelve-month basis, our order intake was £2,095m, up 39%.

Operating costs decreased 3%.  Underlying operating costs excluding transit increased 4% reflecting the increased volumes in IP services, partially offset by a 15% reduction in selling and general administration costs as we continue to focus on our cost transformation activities.

EBITDA grew 2%.  Depreciation and amortisation was in line with the prior year and operating profit was up 3%.

Capital expenditure was £7m lower contributing to operating cash flow growing £3m.

Openreach


Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

Change

2015

2014

Change


£m

£m

£m

%

£m

£m

£m

%

Revenue

1,267

1,245

22

2

2,516

2,490

26

1

Operating costs

619

618

1

0

1,229

1,239

(10)

(1)

EBITDA

648

627

21

3

1,287

1,251

36

3

Depreciation & amortisation

330

335

(5)

(1)

665

684

(19)

(3)

Operating profit

318

292

26

9

622

567

55

10










Capital expenditure

348

246

102

41

750

504

246

49

Operating cash flow

329

339

(10)

(3)

599

637

(38)

(6)

Revenue increased 2% driven by continued strong growth in fibre broadband revenue, which was up 38%.  This growth was partly offset by regulatory price changes which had a negative impact of around £30m, the equivalent of around 2% of our revenue.

We continue to extend the reach of fibre broadband beyond our commercial footprint as part of the BDUK programme.  We passed around 700,000 properties in the quarter which means our fibre broadband network is available to 24m premises, over 80% of the UK.

We achieved 415,000 fibre broadband net connections, an increase of 21%.  This brings the number of homes and businesses connected to 5m, 21% of those passed.  External CP customers added a record 203,000, or 49%, of the net connections in the quarter demonstrating the market-wide demand for fibre.

The UK broadband market1 increased by 160,000 connections in the quarter compared with 182,000 in the prior year.  The physical line base increased by 7,000 in the quarter and has increased by 188,000 over the past 12 months.

Our ultrafast fibre broadband trials in Huntingdon and Gosforth are progressing well with homes and businesses participating in the trial now able to receive speeds of up to 330Mbps using G.fast technology.  We plan to run the trials for six to nine months allowing Openreach, and its eight CP trialists, to assess the technical performance of the technology across a large footprint.

Operating costs were flat year on year with our cost transformation activities offset by the additional costs to deliver revenue growth and by the investments we are making to improve customer service.  There was no benefit this quarter from the sale of redundant copper (Q2 2014/15: £6m).  EBITDA grew 3% and depreciation and amortisation was 1% lower with operating profit up 9%.

Capital expenditure of £348m, which is after net grant funding of £61m (Q2 2014/15: £94m), was up 41%.  This was mainly due to our fibre broadband rollout, connecting new homes, and higher volumes of Ethernet provision.  For the year as a whole, we expect capital expenditure in Openreach to be above 2014/15 as we continue to invest in these areas.

Operating cash flow decreased 3% with the growth in EBITDA and favourable working capital movements more than offset by higher capital expenditure.

1 DSL and fibre

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Group income statement
For the second quarter to 30 September 2015



Before specific items

Specific items (Note 4)

Total


Note

£m

£m

£m

Revenue

2

4,381

78

4,459

Operating costs

3

(3,562)

(84)

(3,646)

Operating profit


819

(6)

813

Finance expense


(115)

(58)

(173)

Finance income


3

-

3

Net finance expense


(112)

(58)

(170)

Share of post-tax losses of associates and joint    ventures


(1)

-

(1)

Profit before tax


706

(64)

642

Tax


(129)

12

(117)

Profit for the period


577

(52)

525

Earnings per share





- basic

9

6.9p


6.3p

- diluted


6.8p


6.2p

Group income statement
For the second quarter to 30 September 2014



Before specific items

Specific items (Note 4)

Total


Note

£m

£m

£m

Revenue

2

4,383

58

4,441

Operating costs

3

(3,551)

(112)

(3,663)

Operating profit


832

(54)

778

Finance expense


(147)

(73)

(220)

Finance income


4

-

4

Net finance expense


(143)

(73)

(216)

Share of post-tax profits of associates and joint ventures


1

-

1

Profit before tax


690

(127)

563

Tax


(137)

20

(117)

Profit for the period


553

(107)

446

Earnings per share





- basic

9

6.9p


5.6p

- diluted


6.8p


5.5p

Group income statement
For the half year to 30 September 2015



Before specific items

Specific items (Note 4)

Total


Note

£m

£m

£m

Revenue

2

8,659

160

8,819

Operating costs

3

(7,019)

(173)

(7,192)

Operating profit


1,640

(13)

1,627

Finance expense


(253)

(113)

(366)

Finance income


9

-

9

Net finance expense


(244)

(113)

(357)

Share of post-tax profits of associates and joint   ventures


4

-

4

Profit before tax


1,400

(126)

1,274

Tax


(261)

23

(238)

Profit for the period


1,139

(103)

1,036

Earnings per share





- basic

9

13.6p


12.4p

- diluted


13.5p


12.3p

Group income statement
For the half year to 30 September 2014



Before specific items

Specific items (Note 4)

Total


Note

£m

£m

£m

Revenue

2

8,737

58

8,795

Operating costs

3

(7,122)

(156)

(7,278)

Operating profit


1,615

(98)

1,517

Finance expense


(295)

(146)

(441)

Finance income


7

-

7

Net finance expense


(288)

(146)

(434)

Share of post-tax profits of associates and joint   ventures


1

-

1

Profit on disposal of interest in associate


-

25

25

Profit before tax


1,328

(219)

1,109

Tax


(264)

42

(222)

Profit for the period


1,064

(177)

887

Earnings per share





- basic

9

13.4p


11.2p

- diluted


13.2p


11.0p

Group statement of comprehensive income
For the second quarter and half year to 30 September


Second quarter

Half year


to 30 September

to 30 September


2015

2014

2015

2014


£m

£m

£m

£m

Profit for the period

525

446

1,036

887

Other comprehensive income (loss)





Items that will not be reclassified to the income statement





Actuarial gains (losses) relating to retirement benefit obligations

275

(5)

157

(41)

Tax on actuarial gains and losses

(55)

1

(31)

8

Items that may be reclassified subsequently to the income statement





Exchange differences on translation of foreign operations

45

36

(59)

(27)

Fair value movements on available-for-sale assets

1

-

6

2

Fair value movements on cash flow hedges:





  - net fair value gains (losses)

307

104

(76)

(50)

  - recognised in income and expense

(165)

(148)

121

26

Tax on components of other comprehensive income that may be reclassified

(18)

10

(8)

-

Other comprehensive income (loss) for the period, net of tax

390

(2)

110

(82)

Total comprehensive income for the period

915

444

1,146

805

Group statement of changes in equity
For the half year to 30 September 2015


Share capital

Share premium

Own shares

Other reserves

Retained earnings

Total equity


£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

At 1 April 2015

419

1,051

(165)

1,485

(1,982)

808

Profit for the period

-

-

-

-

1,036

1,036

Other comprehensive (loss) income before tax

-

-

-

(129)

157

28

Tax on other comprehensive (loss) income

-

-

-

(8)

(31)

(39)

Transferred to the income statement

-

-

-

121

-

121

Comprehensive (loss) income

-

-

-

(16)

1,162

1,146

Dividends to shareholders

-

-

-

-

(710)

(710)

Share-based payments

-

-

-

-

32

32

Net buyback of own shares

-

-

98

-

(265)

(167)

Other movements

-

-

-

-

(3)

(3)

At 30 September 2015

419

1,051

(67)

1,469

(1,766)

1,106


For the half year to 30 September 2014








At 1 April 2014

408

62

(829)

1,447

(1,680)

(592)

Profit for the period

-

-

-

-

887

887

Other comprehensive loss before tax

-

-

-

(73)

(43)

(116)

Tax on other comprehensive loss

-

-

-

-

8

8

Transferred to the income statement

-

-

-

26

-

26

Comprehensive (loss) income

-

-

-

(47)

852

805

Dividends to shareholders

-

-

-

-

(609)

(609)

Share-based payments

-

-

-

-

36

36

Net buyback of own shares

-

-

746

-

(751)

(5)

At 30 September 2014

408

62

(83)

1,400

(2,152)

(365)

Group cash flow statement
For the second quarter and half year to 30 September


Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

2015

2014


£m

£m

£m

£m

Cash flow from operating activities





Profit before tax

642

563

1,274

1,109

Share-based payments

13

18

32

36

Profit on disposal of subsidiaries and interest in associates

-

(1)

-

(26)

Share of post-tax losses (profits) of associates and joint ventures

1

(1)

(4)

(1)

Net finance expense

170

216

357

434

Depreciation and amortisation

623

618

1,251

1,270

Increase in working capital

(150)

(254)

(684)

(806)

Provisions, pensions and other non-cash movements1

(9)

43

(627)

98

Cash generated from operating activities2

1,290

1,202

1,599

2,114

Tax paid

(45)

(117)

(64)

(231)

Net cash inflow from operating activities

1,245

1,085

1,535

1,883

Cash flow from investing activities





Interest received

2

2

5

4

Dividends received from associates and joint ventures

-

-

17

-

Acquisition of subsidiaries3 and joint ventures

(1)

(4)

(2)

(6)

Proceeds on disposal of subsidiaries3, associates and joint ventures

-

3

-

28

Purchases of property, plant and equipment and software

(597)

(521)

(1,225)

(1,054)

Proceeds on disposal of property, plant and equipment

2

-

4

3

Net purchase of non-current asset investments

-

-

-

(2)

Purchases of current asset investments

(2,146)

(1,697)

(3,625)

(4,112)

Sale of current asset investments

2,665

2,180

5,819

4,734

Net cash (used in) generated from investing activities

(75)

(37)

993

(405)

Cash flow from financing activities





Interest paid

(67)

(89)

(253)

(296)

Equity dividends paid

(704)

(603)

(705)

(604)

New borrowings

1

-

1

812

Repayment of borrowings4

(794)

(520)

(1,271)

(1,151)

Cash flows from derivatives related to net debt

78

59

(66)

50

Net repayment of commercial paper

-

-

-

(338)

Proceeds on issue of own shares

81

188

83

192

Repurchase of ordinary share capital

(61)

(56)

(250)

(197)

Net cash used in financing activities

(1,466)

(1,021)

(2,461)

(1,532)

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents

(296)

27

67

(54)

Opening cash and cash equivalents

761

598

407

684

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents

(296)

27

67

(54)

Effect of exchange rate changes

4

6

(5)

1

Closing cash and cash equivalents5

469

631

469

631

1 Includes pension deficit payments of £nil for the quarter (Q2 2014/15: £nil) and £625m for the half year to 30 September 2015 (HY 2014/15: £nil).
2 Includes cash flows relating to programme rights
3 Acquisitions and disposals of subsidiaries are shown net of cash acquired or disposed of
4 Repayment of borrowings includes the impact of hedging and repayment of lease liabilities
5 Net of bank overdrafts of £16m (30 September 2014: £17m)

Group balance sheet


30 September 2015

30 September  2014

31 March 2015


£m

£m

£m

Non-current assets




Intangible assets

3,076

3,051

3,170

Property, plant and equipment

13,607

13,627

13,505

Derivative financial instruments

1,124

657

1,232

Investments

48

38

44

Associates and joint ventures

15

22

26

Trade and other receivables

180

148

184

Deferred tax assets

1,420

1,468

1,559


19,470

19,011

19,720





Current assets




Programme rights

541

280

118

Inventories

112

116

94

Trade and other receivables

3,327

3,249

3,140

Current tax receivable

65

23

65

Derivative financial instruments

77

61

97

Investments

1,336

1,152

3,523

Cash and cash equivalents

485

648

434


5,943

5,529

7,471





Current liabilities




Loans and other borrowings

983

1,677

1,900

Derivative financial instruments

62

115

168

Trade and other payables

5,254

4,974

5,276

Current tax liabilities

289

163

222

Provisions

137

123

142


6,725

7,052

7,708





Total assets less current liabilities

18,688

17,488

19,483





Non-current liabilities




Loans and other borrowings

7,407

7,564

7,868

Derivative financial instruments

851

709

927

Retirement benefit obligations

6,958

7,296

7,583

Other payables

1,032

901

927

Deferred tax liabilities

955

961

948

Provisions

379

422

422


17,582

17,853

18,675





Equity




Ordinary shares

419

408

419

Share premium

1,051

62

1,051

Own shares

(67)

(83)

(165)

Other reserves

1,469

1,400

1,485

Retained loss

(1,766)

(2,152)

(1,982)

Total equity (deficit)

1,106

(365)

808


18,688

17,488

19,483

NOTES TO THE CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

1  Basis of preparation and accounting policies

These condensed consolidated financial statements ('the financial statements') comprise the financial results of BT Group plc for the quarters and half years to 30 September 2015 and 2014 together with the audited balance sheet at 31 March 2015.  The financial statements for the half year to 30 September 2015 have been reviewed by the auditors and their review opinion is on page 27.  The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules (DTR) of the Financial Conduct Authority and with IAS 34 Interim Financial Reporting as adopted by the European Union.  The financial statements should be read in conjunction with the annual financial statements for the year to 31 March 2015.

Having reassessed the principal risks, the directors considered it appropriate to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in preparing the financial statements.

Except as described below and other than income taxes which are accrued using the tax rate that is expected to be applicable for the full financial year, the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies as set out in the financial statements for the year to 31 March 2015 and have been prepared under the historical cost convention as modified by the revaluation of financial assets and liabilities (including derivative financial instruments) at fair value.  These financial statements do not constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006.  Statutory accounts for the year to 31 March 2015 were approved by the Board of Directors on 6 May 2015, published on 21 May 2015, and delivered to the Registrar of Companies.  The report of the auditors on those accounts was unqualified and did not contain any statement under Section 498 of the Companies Act 2006. 

2  Operating results – by line of business1


External revenue

Internal revenue

Group revenue

EBITDA

Operating profit (loss)


£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

Second quarter to 30 September 2015





BT Global Services

1,551

8

1,559

216

86

BT Business

693

88

781

261

212

BT Consumer

1,111

16

1,127

202

144

BT Wholesale

520

-

520

127

72

Openreach

501

766

1,267

648

318

Other and intra-group items2

5

(878)

(873)

(12)

(13)

Total

4,381

-

4,381

1,442

819







Second quarter to 30 September 2014





BT Global Services

1,643

6

1,649

226

102

BT Business

686

103

789

258

213

BT Consumer

1,041

15

1,056

225

171

BT Wholesale

529

-

529

125

70

Openreach

481

764

1,245

627

292

Other and intra-group items2

3

(888)

(885)

(11)

(16)

Total

4,383

-

4,383

1,450

832







Half year to 30 September 2015






BT Global Services

3,087

15

3,102

406

149

BT Business

1,349

181

1,530

501

402

BT Consumer

2,170

31

2,201

456

348

BT Wholesale

1,050

-

1,050

267

154

Openreach

995

1,521

2,516

1,287

622

Other and intra-group items2

8

(1,748)

(1,740)

(26)

(35)

Total

8,659

-

8,659

2,891

1,640







Half year to 30 September 2014






BT Global Services

3,282

14

3,296

439

175

BT Business

1,360

191

1,551

498

410

BT Consumer

2,073

29

2,102

463

354

BT Wholesale

1,054

-

1,054

251

137

Openreach

957

1,533

2,490

1,251

567

Other and intra-group items2

11

(1,767)

(1,756)

(17)

(28)

Total

8,737

-

8,737

2,885

1,615

1 Before specific items
2 Elimination of intra-group revenue, which is included in the total revenue of the originating business

3  Operating costs


Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

2015

2014


£m

£m

£m

£m

Direct labour costs

1,141

1,154

2,283

2,331

Indirect labour costs

186

190

370

390

Leaver costs

20

1

36

3

Total labour costs

1,347

1,345

2,689

2,724

Capitalised labour

(291)

(260)

(581)

(521)

Net labour costs

1,056

1,085

2,108

2,203

Payments to telecommunications operators

533

552

1,029

1,082

Property and energy costs

241

241

486

485

Network operating and IT costs

163

153

299

312

Programme rights charges

135

83

221

161

Other costs

811

819

1,625

1,609

Operating costs before depreciation and specific items

2,939

2,933

5,768

5,852

Depreciation and amortisation

623

618

1,251

1,270

Total operating costs before specific items

3,562

3,551

7,019

7,122

Specific items (Note 4)

84

112

173

156

Total operating costs

3,646

3,663

7,192

7,278

4  Specific items

The group separately identifies and discloses those items that in management's judgement need to be disclosed by virtue of their size, nature or incidence (termed 'specific items').  This is consistent with the way that financial performance is measured by management and assists in providing a meaningful analysis of the trading results of the group.  Specific items may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.


Second quarter to 30 September

Half year to 30 September


2015

2014

2015

2014


£m

£m

£m 

£m

Specific revenue





Retrospective regulatory matters

(78)

(58)

(160)

(58)

Specific operating costs





Profit on disposal of subsidiary

-

(1)

-

(1)

Restructuring charges

-

60

-

104

Provision for regulatory risks

-

53

-

53

Retrospective regulatory matters

78

-

160

-

EE acquisition-related costs

6

-

13

-

Specific operating costs

84

112

173

156

EBITDA impact (Note 7)

6

54

13

98

Net interest expense on pensions

56

73

111

146

Profit on disposal of interest in associate

-

-

-

(25)

EE acquisition-related finance costs

2

-

2

-

Net specific items charge before tax

64

127

126

219

Tax credit on specific items before tax

(12)

(20)

(23)

(42)

Net specific items charge after tax

52

107

103

177

5  Free cash flow

Free cash flow is not a measure defined under IFRS but is a key indicator used by management to assess operational performance.


Second quarter

to 30 September

Half year

to 30 September


2015

2014

2015

2014


£m

£m

£m

£m

Cash generated from operations

1,290

1,202

1,599

2,114

Tax paid

(45)

(117)

(64)

(231)

Net cash inflow from operating activities

1,245

1,085

1,535

1,883

Add back pension deficit payments

-

-

625

-

Included in cash flows from investing activities





Net purchase of property, plant, equipment and software

(595)

(521)

(1,221)

(1,051)

Interest received

2

2

5

4

Net purchase of non-current asset investments

-

-

-

(2)

Dividends received from associates and joint ventures

-

-

17

-

Included in cash flows from financing activities





Interest paid

(67)

(89)

(253)

(296)

Reported free cash flow

585

477

708

538

Net cash outflow from specific items

30

75

82

155

Cash tax benefit of pension deficit payments

(46)

(19)

(115)

(38)

Normalised free cash flow

569

533

675

655







6  Net debt

Net debt is not a measure defined under IFRS but is used by management as a key indicator of the group's balance sheet strength.


30 September

30 September

31 March


2015

2014

2015


£m

£m

£m

Loans and other borrowings1

8,390

9,241

9,768

Cash and cash equivalents

(485)

(648)

(434)

Current investments

(1,336)

(1,152)

(3,523)


6,569

7,441

5,811

Adjustments:




To re-translate currency denominated balances at swapped rates where hedged

(336)

(104)

(357)

To remove fair value adjustments and accrued interest applied to reflect the effective interest method

(314)

(274)

(335)

Net debt

5,919

7,063

5,119

1 Includes overdrafts of £16m at 30 September 2015 (30 September 2014: £17m; 31 March 2015: £27m)

7  Reconciliation of earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is not a measure defined under IFRS, but is a key indicator used by management to assess operational performance.  A reconciliation of reported profit before tax to adjusted EBITDA is provided below.


Second quarter

to 30 September

Half year

to 30 September


2015

2014

2015

2014


£m

£m

£m

£m

Reported profit before tax

642

563

1,274

1,109

Share of post-tax losses (profits) of associates and joint ventures

1

(1)

(4)

(1)

Profit on disposal of interest in associate

-

-

-

(25)

Net finance expense

170

216

357

434

Operating profit

813

778

1,627

1,517

Depreciation and amortisation

623

618

1,251

1,270

Reported EBITDA

1,436

1,396

2,878

2,787

Specific items (Note 4)

6

54

13

98

Adjusted EBITDA

1,442

1,450

2,891

2,885

8  Reconciliation of adjusted profit before tax


Second quarter

to 30 September

Half year

to 30 September


2015

2014

2015

2014


£m

£m

£m

£m

Reported profit before tax

642

563

1,274

1,109

Specific items (Note 4)

64

127

126

219

Adjusted profit before tax

706

690

1,400

1,328

9  Reconciliation of adjusted earnings per share


Second quarter

to 30 September

Half year

to 30 September


2015

2014

2015

2014


pence per share

pence per share

Reported earnings per share

6.3

5.6

12.4

11.2

Per share impact of specific items

0.6

1.3

1.2

2.2

Adjusted earnings per share

6.9

6.9

13.6

13.4

10  Pensions


30 September 2015

30 June 2015

31 March 2015


£bn

£bn

£bn

IAS 19 liabilities - BTPS

(48.2)

(49.7)

(50.7)

Assets - BTPS

41.5

42.8

43.4

Other schemes

(0.3)

(0.3)

(0.3)

Total IAS 19 deficit, gross of tax

(7.0)

(7.2)

(7.6)

Total IAS 19 deficit, net of tax

(5.6)

(5.8)

(6.1)





Discount rate (nominal)

3.60%

3.60%

3.25%

Discount rate (real)

0.68%

0.44%

0.39%

RPI inflation

2.90%

3.15%

2.85%

CPI inflation

1.0% below RPI until 31 March 2017 and 1.2% below RPI thereafter

1.0% below RPI until 31 March 2017 and 1.2% below RPI thereafter

1.0% below RPI until 31 March 2017 and 1.2% below RPI thereafter

The group made a deficit payment of £625m in April 2015 and expects to make additional contributions of around £510m to the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) in 2015/16, comprising ordinary contributions of around £260m and deficit contributions of £250m.

11  Financial instruments and risk management

Fair value of financial assets and liabilities measured at amortised cost
At 30 September 2015, the fair value of loans and borrowings was £9,824m (31 March 2015: £11,658m) and the carrying value was £8,390m (31 March 2015: £9,768m).

The fair value of the following financial assets and liabilities approximate their carrying amount:

  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Trade and other receivables
  • Trade and other payables
  • Provisions
  • Investments classified as loans and receivables

The group's activities expose it to a variety of financial risks: market risk (including interest rate risk and foreign exchange risk); credit risk; and liquidity risk.  There have been no changes to the risk management policies which cover these risks since 31 March 2015.

Fair value estimation
Financial instruments measured at fair value consist of derivative financial instruments and investments classified as available-for-sale or designated at fair value through profit and loss.  These instruments are further analysed by three levels of valuation methodology which are:

  1. Level 1 – uses quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities
  2. Level 2 – uses inputs for the asset or liability other than quoted prices, that are observable either directly or indirectly
  3. Level 3 – uses inputs for the asset or liability that are not based on observable market data, such as internal models or other valuation methods.

The fair value of the group's outstanding derivative financial assets and liabilities were estimated using discounted cash flow models and market rates of interest and foreign exchange at the balance sheet date.

11  Financial instruments and risk management (continued)

30 September 2015

Level 1
£m

Level 2
£m

Level 3
£m

Total held at fair value
£m

Investments





Available-for-sale

31

1,308

10

1,349

Fair value through profit and loss

7

-

-

7

Derivative assets





Designated in a hedge

-

900

-

900

Fair value through profit and loss

-

301

-

301

Total assets

38

2,509

10

2,557

Derivative liabilities





Designated in a hedge

-

687

-

687

Fair value through profit and loss

-

226

-

226

Total liabilities

-

913

-

913






31 March 2015

Level 1
£m

Level 2
£m

Level 3
£m

Total held at fair value
£m

Investments





Available-for-sale

26

3,133

10

3,169

Fair value through profit and loss

8

-

-

8

Derivative assets





Designated in a hedge

-

1,176

-

1,176

Fair value through profit and loss

-

153

-

153

Total assets

34

4,462

10

4,506

Derivative liabilities





Designated in a hedge

-

859

-

859

Fair value through profit and loss

-

236

-

236

Total liabilities

-

1,095

-

1,095

No gains or losses have been recognised in the income statement in respect of Level 3 assets held at 30 September 2015.  There were no changes to the valuation methods or transfers between levels 1, 2 and 3 during the half year.

12  Share capital

In the half year to 30 September 2015, 81m shares (HY 2014/15: 320m) at a total cost of £348m (HY 2014/15: £941m), calculated at a weighted average cost per share, were transferred from own shares to satisfy obligations under all-employee and executive share plans.  We received cash proceeds of £83m (HY 2014/15: £192m).

The majority of the shares transferred from own shares were to satisfy all-employee share option maturities.

13  Financial commitments

Capital expenditure for property, plant and equipment and software contracted for at the balance sheet date but not yet incurred was £498m (30 September 2014: £469m; 31 March 2015: £507m).  Programme rights commitments, mainly relating to football broadcast rights for which the licence period has not yet started, were £1,989m (30 September 2014: £1,400m; 31 March 2015: £2,512m).

14 Related party transactions

Related party transactions in the half year to 30 September 2015 are similar in nature to those disclosed in Note 28 of the Annual Report & Form 20-F 2015.

15 Principal risks and uncertainties

We have processes for identifying, evaluating and managing our risks.  Details of our principal risks and uncertainties can be found on pages 41 to 49 of the Annual Report & Form 20-F 2015 and are summarised below.  All of them have the potential to have an adverse impact on our business, revenue, profits, assets, liquidity and capital resources.

  • The risks that could impact the security of our data or the resilience of our operations and services
  • The risks associated with complex and high value national and multinational customer contracts
  • The risks associated with a significant funding obligation in relation to our defined benefit pension scheme
  • The risks arising from operating in markets which are characterised by: high levels of change; strong and new competition; declining prices and in some markets declining revenues; technology substitution; market and product convergence; customer churn; and regulatory intervention to promote competition and reduce wholesale prices
  • The risks associated with some of our activities being subject to significant price and other regulatory controls
  • The risks associated with operating under a wide range of local and international anti-corruption and bribery laws, trade sanctions and import and export controls
  • The risk there could be a failure of any of our critical third-party suppliers to meet their obligations
  • The risks arising from operating as a major data controller and processor of customer information around the world

There have been no significant changes to the principal risks and uncertainties in the half year to 30 September 2015, some or all of which have the potential to impact our results or financial position during the remaining six months of the financial year.  Our proposed acquisition of EE creates additional risks for BT beyond those captured in our principal risks and uncertainties.  These are described on pages 51 and 52 of the Annual Report & Form 20-F 2015.

16 Post balance sheet event

Changes to the UK corporation tax rates were announced in the Chancellor's Budget on 8 July 2015 and substantively enacted on 26 October 2015.  These include reductions in the rate to 19% from 1 April 2017 and to 18% from 1 April 2020.  As the changes had not been substantively enacted at the balance sheet date their effects are not included in these financial statements.

STATEMENT OF DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITIES

The directors confirm, to the best of their knowledge, that this condensed set of financial statements has been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 as adopted by the European Union and that the Interim Management Report includes a fair review of the information required by Rules 4.2.7 and 4.2.8 of the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

The names and functions of the BT Group plc board can be found at: http://www.btplc.com/thegroup/ourcompany/theboard/ourboard/index.htm

By order of the Board




Gavin Patterson

Tony Chanmugam

Chief Executive

Group Finance Director



28 October 2015                                


INDEPENDENT REVIEW REPORT TO BT GROUP PLC

Report on the condensed consolidated financial statements

Our conclusion

We have reviewed the condensed consolidated financial statements, defined below, in the half year financial report of BT Group plc for the six months ended 30 September 2015.  Based on our review, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the condensed consolidated financial statements are not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34 as adopted by the European Union and the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

This conclusion is to be read in the context of what we say in the remainder of this report.

What we have reviewed

The condensed consolidated financial statements, which are prepared by BT Group plc, comprise:

  • the Group balance sheet as at 30 September 2015;
  • the Group income statement and Group statement of comprehensive income for the six month period then ended;
  • the Group cash flow statement for the six month period then ended;
  • the Group statement of changes in equity for the six month period then ended; and
  • the explanatory notes to the condensed consolidated financial statements.

As disclosed in note 1, the financial reporting framework that has been applied in the preparation of the full annual financial statements of the Group is applicable law and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the European Union.

The condensed consolidated financial statements included in the half year financial report have been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34, 'Interim Financial Reporting', as adopted by the European Union and the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

What a review of condensed consolidated financial statements involves

We conducted our review in accordance with International Standard on Review Engagements (UK and Ireland) 2410, 'Review of Interim Financial Information Performed by the Independent Auditor of the Entity' issued by the Auditing Practices Board for use in the United Kingdom.  A review of interim financial information consists of making enquiries, primarily of persons responsible for financial and accounting matters, and applying analytical and other review procedures.

A review is substantially less in scope than an audit conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and, consequently, does not enable us to obtain assurance that we would become aware of all significant matters that might be identified in an audit.  Accordingly, we do not express an audit opinion.

We have read the other information contained in the half year financial report and considered whether it contains any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the information in the condensed consolidated financial statements.

Responsibilities for the condensed consolidated financial statements and the review

Our responsibilities and those of the directors

The half year financial report, including the condensed consolidated financial statements, is the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the directors.  The directors are responsible for preparing the half year financial report in accordance with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

Our responsibility is to express to the company a conclusion on the condensed consolidated financial statements in the half year financial report based on our review.  This report, including the conclusion, has been prepared for and only for the company for the purpose of complying with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority and for no other purpose.  We do not, in giving this conclusion, accept or assume responsibility for any other purpose or to any other person to whom this report is shown or into whose hands it may come save where expressly agreed by our prior consent in writing.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Chartered Accountants
London
28 October 2015

Notes:


a)

The maintenance and integrity of BT Group plc's website is the responsibility of the directors; the work carried out by the auditors does not involve consideration of these matters and, accordingly, the auditors accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred to the financial statements since they were initially presented on the website.



b)

Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

Forward-looking statements – caution advised

Certain statements in this results release are forward-looking and are made in reliance on the safe harbour provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements include, without limitation, those concerning: our 2015/16 outlook, including growth in revenue, EBITDA and free cash flow; growing dividends and continued share buyback; our credit rating; demand for, our investment in and roll out of fibre broadband; our ultrafast broadband trials; and our investment in, and demand for, our BT TV and BT Sport Europe offerings.

Although BT believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct.  Because these statements involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

Factors that could cause differences between actual results and those implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: material adverse changes in economic conditions in the markets served by BT; future regulatory and legal actions, decisions, outcomes of appeal and conditions or requirements in BT's operating areas, including competition from others; selection by BT and its lines of business of the appropriate trading and marketing models for its products and services; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates; technological innovations, including the cost of developing new products, networks and solutions and the need to increase expenditures for improving the quality of service; prolonged adverse weather conditions resulting in a material increase in overtime, staff or other costs, or impact on customer service; developments in the convergence of technologies; the anticipated benefits and advantages of new technologies, products and services not being realised; the timing of entry and profitability of BT in certain communications markets; significant changes in market shares for BT and its principal products and services; the underlying assumptions and estimates made in respect of major customer contracts proving unreliable; uncertainties and assumptions relating to the planned EE acquisition, conditions of the acquisition not being satisfied and the anticipated synergies, benefits and return on investment not being realised; and general financial market conditions affecting BT's performance and ability to raise finance.  BT undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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SOURCE BT Group plc



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