BT shares soar 9% on profit increase

EE
The BT tower, London.

Shares in BT soared 9% on Thursday morning after the group posted a 2% rise in earnings in the first half of the year.

The company also posted a 24% year-on-year increase to profits before tax to £1.3 billion and adjusted core earnings rose to £3.7 billion.

Earnings for the full-year are expected to be in the upper end of its £7.3 billion to £7.4 billion range.

Gavin Patterson, the outgoing chief executive, said cost savings and the group’s recovery plan helped boost profits.

“We continued to generate positive momentum in the second quarter resulting in encouraging results for the half year,” he said.

“We are successfully delivering against the core pillars of our strategy with improved customer experience metrics, accelerating ultrafast deployment and positive progress towards transforming our operating model,” he added.

George Salmon, who is an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that BT was looking like a stable investment.

Independent telco analyst, Paolo Pescatore, is not sure.

“Worrying times for BT. More turmoil awaits and the incoming chief executive will have to make some tough decisions across the board and with all of BT’s business segments,” he said.

“Despite its strong network assets, BT is struggling to standout in a competitive landscape. This will only proliferate with the arrival of Comcast (through Sky) and potential others in the future as well.”

“The consumer segment continues to stand out. BT Plus has made a modest start. However, greater focus needs to be placed on retention and upselling into existing base. And more importantly ensuring costs do not spiral out of control due to the roll-out of 5G and fibre broadband connections. No easy feat while trying to renew and secure key sports rights.”

“Its rivals are strengthening their respective positions in content which might prove to be a tough end to the calendar year for BT.”

Shares in the group (LON: BT.A) are trading +9.91% higher at 264,40 (1102GMT).