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The price of BT (LON:BT.A) shares surged upwards by 10.08% to 264.80p (as of 12:30 GMT) despite revenues for the six months ended 30th September dropping by 2% to £11.5 billion as growth in the consumer business was offset by a decline in enterprise and tighter price regulations where applicable. Reported pre-tax profits climbed by 2%, driven by higher volumes and demand for upper-end smartphones.
Chief executive Gavin Patterson commented: “We continued to generate positive momentum in the second quarter resulting in encouraging results for the half year. We are successfully delivering against the core pillars of our strategy with improved customer experience metrics, accelerating ultrafast deployment and positive progress towards transforming our operating model.
“In Consumer, we continue to see strong sales of our converged product, BT Plus, and have seen good mobile sales following new handset launches. Last month EE demonstrated 5G capability from a live site in Canary Wharf. We have maintained momentum in our enterprise businesses despite legacy product declines.
“On 1 October we completed the transfer of 31,000 employees into Openreach, a key part of fulfilling our DCR commitments. Openreach has signed up the majority of its major and a number of its smaller communications providers to its new volume related discounts which should increase average broadband speeds across the UK. We are making positive progress on the key enablers to ensure that we can secure a fair return on our FTTP investment, and are ready to expand the FTTP programme up to and beyond 10 million premises if the conditions are right.
“Our strategy is delivering, with benefits evident from the steps we’ve been taking to simplify and strengthen the business and improve efficiency. Despite increasingly competitive fixed, mobile and networking markets and continued declines in legacy products there is no change in our overall outlook for the full year. Based on current trading, we expect EBITDA to be in the upper half of our £7.3 – £7.4 billion range”.