Shares in BT Group (LON:BT.A) have been subdued in London in today’s session as the company revealed that its revenue had fallen in the year to March 31. The former telecoms monopoly, however, maintained its payout to shareholders despite reports that its board was split on whether to cut dividends.
As of 09:03 BST, BT’s share price had given up 0.64 percent to 217.85p. The shares are marginally underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.56 percent lower at 7,230.20 points.
BT posts full-year results
BT announced in a statement today that its revenue had inched one percent lower to £23.4 billion in the financial year ended March 31. The group’s profit before tax meanwhile inched two percent higher to £2.67 billion, while after-tax profit came in six percent higher at £2.16 billion.
The company further proposed final dividend of 10.78p pence per share, giving a full-year dividend of 15.4p, unchanged on last year’s payout.
“The Board also expects to hold the dividend unchanged in respect of the current financial year given our outlook for earnings and cash flow” BT’s chief executive Philip Jansen commented in the statement.
Going forward, BT expects to deliver adjusted revenue down by about two percent in the 2019/20 financial year and adjusted EBITDA of between £7.2 billion and £7.3 billion. The company also increased its target to pass four million premises with ultrafast FTTP technology by 2020/21, up from three million, and an ambition to pass 15 million premises by the mid-2020s, up from 10 million, subject to conditions being right.
Analysts weigh in on update
“BT’s long-suffering investors will welcome the combination of a renewed growth strategy with an above-average income while they wait for it to be delivered,” said Tom Stevenson, investment director at Fidelity Personal, as quoted by City A.M, adding that while they would need to be patient with underlying earnings to be flat this year, they would hope today’s news was enough to end the ‘dismal’ performance in BT’s share price in recent years.