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BT Group Management Discusses Q1 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: BT

So from that, let's go to the individual lines of business on Slide 5, Global Services. Global Services revenue was down 9% headline basis, was at down 6% excluding transit. If you look on the right-hand side, I think you see the key movements. And over half of the underlying ex transit revenue decline came from tough conditions in Continental Europe and financial services sector, and we do show that in the numbers. I don't think that's a huge surprise. Certainly, the market has not got better. It's got worse, I think, recently, and we saw, for instance, double-digit declines in Spain even in constant currency, and in addition to that, with the currency movements, it's significant declines.

Underlying operating costs I think have started to go in the right direction. They're down 6%, and I would stress that's excluding foreign exchange, so it will be down more than that on a -- including foreign exchange. And that's meant that the underlying EBITDA is down 8%. However, actually, a big part of that was the fact we had more leavers cost charged to P&L this year than last year in this quarter, and leaver costs have been volatile. And as you know -- remember, those of you who have been around a while, that we used to show ex leavers as a key measure. And actually, ex leavers were down 3% in Global Services, and we're still committed to growth in EBITDA in Global Services for the year as a whole. So I think just to put it in context, it is a tough market. But with the right cost program, and I think there's a lot more to be done there, we still believe Global Services can grow its EBITDA.

Cash flow. We said that cash flow would be lower this year, and it was down in the quarter. Some of the things that we thought would happen, and we can talk in more detail of it, and Tony will do, there's lower contract-related receipts, some delays in debt receipts and time and supply payments. We did see in Q4 that you would expect Q1 and Q2 to be lower due to working capital in Global Services, so that -- a lot of that we expected.

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