Earnings: BT Profit Tanks, IPTV Subs Go Slow, Broadband Keeps Growing

BT’s profit of £113 million in the last quarter of 2008 is a whopping 81 percent down on the year before despite five percent better revenue of £5.43 billion. But it’s not thanks to its consumer-facing broadband, telco and IPTV business – blame its ailing overseas corporate networks division, which scored a £336 million one-off charge, already announced last month, after a structural review…

IPTV: BT (NYSE: BT) Vision is now up to 398,000 customers, up from what CEO Dan Marks said early this year was 350,000, conceding this was “not that many customers”. The company targets two to three million subscribers between now and 2012 – with this slow growth, it’s looking like the latter.

Broadband: BT made nine percent more money from its ISP business, adding 83,000 customers to take its total to 4.7 million, still the UK’s biggest ISP with 34 percent of DSL customers. The company trumpeted its wifi proposition, with BT Openzone usage up 13 percent on the previous quarter, partnerships with worldwide telcos taking its hotspots up to 50,000 globally, or 120,000 if you factor in Fon, the people’s wifi network in which it has invested.

Openreach: Profit in the local loop unbundling division increased seven percent to £344 million after it reduced costs. It said five ISPs have signed up to trial BT’s fibre-to-the-cabinet network this summer, with initial speeds up to 40Mbps.

CEO Ian Livingstone: “Three of our businesses performed ahead of expectations in the quarter and the group, excluding global services, delivered the best year on year profit growth for five years.”

Results | Webcast (9am GMT)