Telecommunications group BT reinstated guidance and forecast a return to earnings growth 'beyond this year' after reporting lower first-quarter profit as revenue was hurt by the impact of the pandemic. 'Beyond this year and based on current expectations, we expect to return the business to sustainable adjusted EBITDA growth, driven in part by the recovery from Covid-19,' the company said. The company forecast annual adjusted revenue down in the range of 5%-to-6%; adjusted (earnings) EBITDA between £7.2bn and £7.5bn, reported capital expenditure of £4.0bn-to-£4.3bn and free cash flow of £1.2bn-to-£1.5bn. For the three months to 30 June 2020, pre-tax profit fell 13% to £561m on-year as revenue declined 7% to £5,248m. The decline in revenue was driven by the impact of Covid-19, including reduced BT Sport revenue and a reduction in business activity in the company's enterprise units. Consumer fixed average revenue per customer (ARPC) fell 4% to £36.4, which the company blamed on continued market competition and residential BT Sport revenue decline. Postpaid mobile ARPC fell 5% to £19.6, owing to decline in roaming and out of bundle revenues, and continued trend towards SIM-only, the company added. 'Despite our strong operational performance in the first three months of the year, it is clear that Covid-19 will continue to impact our business as the full economic consequences unfold,' the company said. In a seperate statement, BT also announced the appointment of Rob Shuter as chief executive of its enterprise unit.
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