LONDON — I believe that BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT)‘s aggressive strategy to build its broadband and television portfolios should underpin solid growth over the long term.
The company operates a lucrative dividend policy, making it a great pick for your tax-efficient stocks and share ISA (just click here for more information on how to maximize returns from ISAs). In my opinion, BT’s improving earnings potential should enable it to maintain its policy of generous shareholder payouts.
Broadband and television operations ratchet up
BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) continues to build market share in the U.K. broadband market, and bolstered its weighty presence further following last month’s 4G services auction. The company forked out 186 million pounds for the license to 2 x 15 MHz at the 2.6 MHz range, a move designed to enhance its wireless broadband services and allow connectivity to more remote parts of the country.
Elsewhere, BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) is stepping up the fight with consolidated services heavyweight British Sky Broadcasting by steadily buildings its television portfolio to offer a rival “triple play” package.
BT agreed to buy ESPN’s U.K. and Ireland television channels late last month in a bid to bolster its BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) Sport package, which is due for launch this summer. The deal gives BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) the broadcasting rights to a host of top-notch football competitions, including the FA Cup and UEFA Europa League, in addition to the 38 English Premier League matches it has already agreed to show over the next three seasons.
A recent survey by broker Liberum Capital suggested that BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) is gaining more interest from potential customers, with 37% of respondents in February claiming that they would consider switching from Sky, up from 25% in October and 28% in July.
The broker anticipates new BT Vision subscriptions will jump from around 100,000 per year to 250,000, mainly on the back of BT’s ability to substantially undercut Sky on a price basis.