- BT Group maintained its dividend after reporting annual results in line with expectations as growth in its consumer business was offset by regulated pressures and declines in its enterprise businesses.

For the 12 months to 31 March, pre-tax profits rose 2% to £2.67bn and revenue fell 1% to £23.46bn, above management’s expectation for a 0.9% decline, and earnings (EBITDA) fell 2% to £7.39bn, in line with expectations.

'BT delivered solid results for the year, in line with our guidance, with adjusted profit growth in Consumer and Global Services offset by declines in Enterprise and Openreach,' the company said.

Its consumer division saw adjusted revenues rise 3% in the year, but its enterprise, global services and openreach segments reported a decline in growth for the year.

Net cash inflow from operating activities fell 14% to £4,256m, mainly due to pension deficit payments, increased capital expenditure and lower EBITDA, the company added.

The company proposed a final dividend of 10.78p pence per share, giving a full-year dividend of 15.4p; unchanged on last year.

'For 2018/19 the Board has decided to hold the full year dividend unchanged at 15.4p per share. The Board also expects to hold the dividend unchanged in respect of the current financial year given our outlook for earnings and cash flow,' the company said.

Looking ahead to 2019/20, the company expected to report adjusted revenue down c.2%, adjusted EBITDA £7.2bn - £7.3bn, capital expenditure of £3.7bn - £3.9bn and normalised free cash flow of £1.9bn - £2.1bn.

'We need to invest to improve our customer propositions and competitiveness. We need to invest to stay ahead in our fixed, mobile and core networks, and we need to invest to overhaul our business to ensure that we are using the latest systems and technology to improve our efficiency and become more,' said Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, commenting on the results.

'Our aim is to deliver the best converged network and be the leader in fixed ultrafast and mobile 5G networks. We are increasingly confident in the environment for investment in the UK. We have already announced the first 16 UK cities for 5G investment.'

'Today we are announcing an increased target to pass 4m premises with ultrafast FTTP technology by 2020/21, up from 3m, and an ambition to pass 15 million premises by the mid-2020s, up from 10 million, if the conditions are right, especially the regulatory and policy enablers.'

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