BT share price: 3 things we learnt from its annual results

The telecoms provider delivered a solid set of full-year results, with the company investing heavily in 5G and ultrafast broadband over the 12 months to fight off its rivals in the highly competitive UK market.

BT reported its annual results on May 9, delivering a strong set of figures that fell in line with its guidance, with the company seeing adjusted profit growth in consumer and global services offset declines in its enterprise and Openreach business lines.

Its annual results also allowed it to highlight the new direction the company wishes to take as its new CEO looks to focus on its core business and make BT a market leader in broadband and 5G networks.

New CEO looks to rethink BT’s growth strategy

BT’s previous CEO, Gavin Patterson, was doomed by the size of the debt pile created by its bid to dominate the sports broadcasting arena. While it seemed to pay off in the beginning, eventually the ‘arms race’ between BT, Sky and others became too much for the telecoms firm. Since Patterson’s departure the enthusiasm for the future has waned, and it needs a major strategic rethink from the new boss to re-energise investors.

Since joining the company, BT’s new CEO Philip Jansen has stressed the important role that the business has in connecting society together and it is this realisation that has shifted the focus of the business.

‘While we are really well positioned in a very challenging and competitive UK market, we have a lot of work to do to ensure we remain successful and deliver long term sustainable value to our shareholders,’ he said.

‘We need to invest to improve our customer propositions and competitiveness. We need to invest to stay ahead in our fixed, mobile and core networks, and we need to invest to overhaul our business to ensure that we are using the latest systems and technology to improve our efficiency and become more agile.’

BT aims to become broadband and 5G network leader

The telecoms provider aims to deliver the best converged network and be the leader in fixed ultrafast and mobile 5G networks in the years ahead, with the company increasingly confident in the environment for investment in the UK.

The company has already announced the first 16 UK cities for 5G investment and has already increased its target to pass 4 million premises with ultrafast FTTP technology by 2020/21, up from 3 million, and an ambition to pass 15 million premises by the mid-2020s, up from 10 million.

BT maintains its full-year dividend in 2019

In 2018, BT’s management held its full-year dividend unchanged at 15.4p per share and has committed to hold it at that level for this financial year too, with the business on course to deliver another year of earnings growth and strong cash flow.

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