BT’s consumer division took almost 80% of new ADSL and Fibre broadband connections in the first three months of the year, according to the firm’s latest market update.
The ISP added 170,000 new retail broadband customers in the period as well as 249,000 new connections – including upgrades – to its fibre-based Infinity broadband service.
The company says its third consecutive quarter of major growth in broadband was down to its investment in premium sport content and its BT Sport channels.
Its consumer business enjoyed a 9% increase in revenue and the lowest number of phone line losses (49,000) in more than five years as the offer of free sport persuaded customers to stay with the former state-owned ISP.
As previously announced, BT TV subscribers now stand at more than 1m – up 46,000 in the quarter.
The increased appeal of the TV service, which added five new HD channels in the quarter as well as a new, more powerful set-top box, saw average revenue per user grow 7% to £391.
The investment in BT Sport saw operating costs rise 10% but the firm says these were “partly offset by transformation activities.”
Openreach, BT’s wholesale arm which maintains the phone network, has now passed 19 million homes and businesses – two thirds of UK premises.
The business had expected to reach that number by the end of 2015 and says “the vast majority” of the roll-out was funded commercially rather than through local or central Government grant.
Across the whole BT Group reported profit for the year was £2,312m, level with the previous year.
Today’s market update included a stark acceptance that customer service in the retail arm is letting the business down and says further investment will be made in this area.
Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Gavin Patterson, said: “BT Sport has proved very popular and we are delighted the service is now in around five million homes.
“For BT Consumer it underpinned a record 9% growth in revenue in the fourth quarter and the lowest line losses in over five years. We achieved an excellent 79% share of broadband5 market net additions in the quarter.”