Friday, May 15, 2009

Thoughts on BT

So Yesterday we had the presentation of the BT results for the last year and the headline analysis can be read on the FT, BBC, Independent and Times amongst other sources.

What gets me is that Ian Livingstone has used accounting tricks to hide what the future looks like. Lookig at BT Retail the core revenue streams are ALL declining and yet the Division managed to increase its profit. Going forward if my own experience is common they will lose even more money, the retention costs for me staying on the BT network are more than the money I am paying them the poor user experience means that I have stopped using BT Vision on demand services.

The Cost Cutting plan is a recruitment freeze rather than intelligent restructuring of the Workforce. This is because of the fact that we are looking at the heavy unionisation of the Openreach division which could become a car crash similar to Global Services (Talk Talk and Tiscali merging will lower the number of truck roles for LLU). If the cost base in GS is wrong why has so little been written down on the Balance Sheet and why are we not seeing large scale redundancies in India of BT staff?

However the big issue I have with Livingstone is the lack of a Vision when it comes to the future. In the middle of the Digital Britain review would his predecessor have stayed quite or used the annual results as an opportunity to talk up high speed broadband? With BT needing to become a software company if the investment in 21CN is to be profitable what progress is being made and how will BT be at the centre of new services?

Could the emphasis on fixing the pension fund be because Livingstone and his Board what a nest to rival that of the former RBS Executives under Fred Godwin?

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