BT’s all-island operations in Ireland this morning said that strong cost management and transformation into a managed services leader contributed to an 18pc year-on-year EBITDA increase.
But overall, BT Ireland’s parent company in the UK reported a pre-tax loss of £134bn sterling for the year and is to implement a cost-cutting plan that will see 15,000 jobs cut.
It is understood that the strong performance of the company’s local Irish divisions will protect the company’s local workforce from the brunt of the cuts.
Gross margin improved by 9pc, while underlying revenues excluding foreign exchange movement declined by 4pc to £800.8 million sterling.
Key deals such as Telefonica O2 Ireland selecting BT as a managed services partner in a multi-million euro deal are seen as pivotal in the company’s progression. As part of the seven-year contract, O2 has outsourced part of its network services to BT and successfully transitioned a number of highly skilled O2 employees to BT.
The company has signed a concession agreement with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to provide the State’s Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS), bringing to bear its expertise in providing a similar mission-critical service for over 60 years in Northern Ireland.
BT was also chosen by 3 Ireland to be the principal sub-contractor for the delivery of the National Broadband Scheme (NBS) in the Republic of Ireland. The deal will see BT deliver the radio site infrastructure and backhaul transmission to support the network rollout.
The company further grew its share of the ICT market through new deals with American Airlines, Barclays, Consilium Technologies, Danske Bank, DSG, Enterprise Northern Ireland, EMC, Kilsaran Concrete, Welch Allyn, Department of Finance & Personnel (NI), Department of the Environment (NI), the Police Service of Northern Ireland and UTV.
BT’s successful collaboration with other key IT brands in the Irish market to deliver and execute these customer contracts has been recognised by a host of awards, including Cisco Gold Partner of the Year, Avaya Service Provider of the Year and the largest partner to HP in Ireland.
In the broadband market, BT remains Northern Ireland’s most popular broadband company with more than 167,000 consumer and business connections (up 9pc year on year).
In the Republic of Ireland, where BT has 81,000 broadband connections, the company has successfully refocused its broadband acquisition to target the exchange areas where BT can offer a truly differentiated service to its customers via local loop unbundling.
This allows the company to bring speeds of up to 24Mbps and competitive prices to Irish consumers over BT’s next-generation network.
BT also reported steady growth in the wholesale provision of broadband to other communications providers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In recent weeks, it is understood that BT has inked a wholesale deal with Vodafone.
“It has been a tough year with revenues impacted by the slowdown in overall business activity and heightened competition,” explained Chris Clark (pictured), BT Ireland chief executive.
“However we have made exceptional progress on profitability through our relentless focus on cost management and securing major managed services contracts.
“We are performing very well against our strategy of being the leading networked IT services provider, as borne out by the nature of these landmark contracts we are winning in both the private and public sectors. We believe that this is a direct result of the global expertise, capabilities and investment we have brought to bear in the Irish marketplace,” Clark added.
In an increasingly difficult economic climate, BT said it has continued to make a number of strategic investments in its network infrastructure to expand the range of next-generation services it provides to customers across all market segments while simultaneously reducing prices.
By John Kennedy
Pictured: Chris Clark, BT Ireland chief executive