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BT Reports Q2 Results

BT reports half year profits of £1,031M; Q2 profits of £529M, up 7% and earnings per share of £0.044, up 19%

November 13, 2003

2 Min Read

LONDON -- BT (NYSE: BTY) Half Year and Second Quarter Results to September 30, 2003 - Half Year Highlights
-- Earnings per share* of 8.5 pence, up 37 per cent
-- Profit before taxation* of 1,031 million pounds sterling, up 26 per cent
-- Group turnover of 9,154 million pounds, down 1 per cent
-- Free cash generated of 1.2 billion pounds, up 59 per cent
-- Interim dividend of 3.2 pence per share, up 42 per cent
-- Enhanced dividend and share buyback policy announced

SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
-- Earnings per share* of 4.4 pence, up 19 per cent
-- Profit before taxation* of 529 million pounds, up 7 per cent
-- Group turnover of 4,568 million pounds, down 2 per cent
-- Net debt reduced to 8,768 million pounds, 33 per cent lower than previous year
-- Broadband end users of 1.5 million at October 31, 2003

Sir Christopher Bland, Chairman, commenting on the half year results, said: "This continues to be a challenging year for our traditional business but our new wave businesses are delivering strong growth. Whilst investing for the future we have been able to increase earnings per share* for the half year by 37 per cent and generate free cash flow of 1.2 billion pounds, up nearly 60 per cent.

"I am pleased to report that we will be paying an interim dividend of 3.2 pence per share, 42 per cent higher than last year. We intend that this year's full year dividend will represent around 50 per cent of earnings, a year ahead of target. We are also targeting a further increase to around 60 per cent of earnings for 2005/6. In addition we will begin a share buyback programme whilst we reduce our debt towards a targeted level of around 7 billion pounds in 2006/7.

"Our results demonstrate our continuing ability to reduce debt, grow rewards for our shareholders and build for the future."

Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive, commenting on the second quarter results, said: "We continue to deliver our strategic goals of transforming our business whilst improving cash flow, earnings per share and customer satisfaction. Despite lower turnover in the second quarter, free cash flow improved 6 per cent to 585 million pounds, earnings per share* improved by 19 per cent to 4.4 pence and customer satisfaction further improved.

"The market is changing rapidly with the move to new technology being driven by BT. The UK has become one of the fastest growing broadband nations, with our broadband connections trebling over the past year. Voice over IP is now commonplace in the corporate sector.

"BT is accelerating its transformation programme, with investment in new wave activities, the 21st century network and cost efficiency initiatives.

"Our investment and cost efficiency transformation plans and the 25 per cent growth in our new wave revenues give us confidence for the future."

British Telecommunications plc (BT)

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