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BT Group plc Rises on Increased Profit

BTThe share price of BT (LSE: BT-A) (NYSE: BT.US) is currently up close to 1%, following release of the group’s first-quarter results, to 30 June 2014, in which the company reported that adjusted pre-tax profit has risen 7% to £638m, on underlying revenue (excluding transit traffic) that had edged up 0.5%

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) remained flat on an adjusted basis, but the company said that both BT Global Services and BT Business saw EBITDA growth (up 1% and 2% respectively), despite lower revenues (down 6% and 3% respectively). Adjusted earnings per share rose 10%, to 6.5p. 

The company reported that its cost transformation has been running at a “similar pace” to last year, and that underlying operating costs (excluding transit traffic and BT Sport) were down 3%.

BT also said that it had added 2,500 new jobs in recent months, in support of its strategic investment in both its fibre network and customer service delivery.  CEO Gavin Patterson said that he was excited by the launch of the BT One Phone for business, and BT’s other mobility plans, and that there would more news about them later this financial year.

Mr Patterson’s comments on the first quarter results also included

“We have made a good start to the year.  We have delivered growth in underlying revenue excluding transit and in profit before tax, and free cash flow was strong.

“Our fibre broadband network now covers more than twenty million premises.  We are passing over 70,000 additional premises each week and demand is strong with more than three million already signed up. 

We are building on solid foundations and I am confident we will deliver on our strategy.

BT’s share price is now up 3.5% so far in 2014, compared with a FTSE 100 that’s barely moved. And the longer-term story is still in favour of the telecoms giant — BT’s share price has increased 210% over the past five years, with the FTSE 100 trailing behind on a 47% gain.

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Jon Wallis has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the shares mentioned.