Shares of BT Group (NYSE: BT) have fallen today, down by 10% as of 3 p.m. EDT, after the company reported first-quarter results. The British telecom giant also announced it would be cutting 13,000 jobs, and that it needs to contribute more to its pension due to a deficit.
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BT Group posted revenue of just under 6 billion pounds ($8.1 billion) in the first quarter, which translated into pre-tax profit of 872 million pounds ($1.2 billion). The company reported approximately 95,000 postpaid mobile net additions during the quarter, with monthly mobile postpaid average revenue per user (ARPU) of 26 pounds ($35.14).
BT Sport viewership was up 19%, which was the second-best performance since launch.
The strategy update that BT announced will cut 13,000 jobs over the next three years. The layoffs will save 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion) in cash costs, but BT will incur 800 million pounds ($1.1 billion) in costs. The cost reductions will "help offset near term cost and revenue pressures." The company says the new strategy will transform BT's operating model and strengthen its position in converged connectivity and services.
BT also announced its 2017 triennial funding valuation of its pension -- the U.K.'s largest defined benefit program -- and now estimates that the funding deficit is 11.3 billion pounds ($15.3 billion). The telecom company plans to cover this deficit over the next 13 years through a variety of actions. The company paid 850 million pounds ($1.15 billion) in March and will pay another 1.25 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) by June 2019. BT will also issue bonds maturing from 2033 to 2042 and use the proceeds to contribute another 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion). BT will also make 10 annual payments of approximately 900 million pounds ($1.2 billion) starting in 2020.
Additionally, BT will freeze its dividend.
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