Oct 29, 2020

BT forecasts profits to recover to pre-Covid levels

BT has issued an upbeat outlook for a profit recovery that sent shares in the UK telecoms company sharply higher on Thursday. The company raised the floor of its annual earnings outlook for the year to March 2021 by £100m and now expects these, before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation before items such as restructuring costs, to be between £7.3bn and £7.5bn. That figure is down from £7.9bn in the previous year but BT said it expected to at least match that level again in the year to March 2023 as cost-cutting, price rises and a restructuring programme improve its performance and free up more cash to restore its dividend and invest in upgrading its networks. Orange, the French telecoms company, rose 5 per cent in early trading after reporting strong third-quarter results on Thursday while Swisscom's ebtida also beat expectations. The move, the first time BT had not made an investor payout in 36 years, knocked 10 per cent off the company's shares which have traded at around a 10-year low since. For the group's first half as a whole, revenue fell 8 per cent to £10.6bn and pre-tax profit was down 20 per cent to £1.1bn..

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