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BT - A Company in transformation


BT’s future as a company is based on its ability to transform itself from a fixed-line business to a software-driven global communications services company. That was the key message delivered today by BT chairman Sir Michael Rake in his first address to the company’s shareholders since taking over the helm. Speaking at the company’s AGM at the Barbican centre, London, Sir Michael was quick to praise former chief executive Ben Verwaayen, before noting that new chief executive “Ian [Livingston] is determined that the next few years will be even more exciting and innovatory than the last few”.

Describing last year’s performance as “strong”, Sir Michael noted some financial highlights: “Our revenues grew by 2 per cent to over £20.7 billion. Our pre-tax profit was £2.5 billion. And earnings per share were up 5 per cent to 23.9p. I am delighted to confirm that we have announced a full year dividend of 15.8 pence, up more than 85 per cent from five years ago.” Sir Michael also confirmed that “looking forward, we expect to deliver continued growth in revenue, EBITDA, earnings per share and dividends per share in this current financial year.”

On the regulatory environment, Sir Michael called for “a consistent and principles-based approach to regulation wherever we operate around the world.” He also looked forward to seeing more deregulation “to reflect the emergence of sustainable competition in the UK”. Touching on BT’s announcement yesterday of a £1.5bn investment in super fast broadband over the next four years, Sir Michael noted: “it is critical that we have a regulatory regime in place that encourages investment and innovation in next generation networks” before concluding “we look forward to governments in the EU adopting more appropriate regulatory stances.”


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