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BT Group

Across Europe, fixed-line telecommunications players face shrinking revenues from traditional voice services, increased competition from a slew of newcomers, and the rapid shift from wired to wireless telephony. But Britain's BT Group is managing to buck the trend by focusing on broadband and Internet services. The former British telecom monopoly's biggest asset is the 29 million phone lines it owns across Britain. By upgrading those wires into high-speed data pipes that can carry digital phone calls and video and provide Internet access, CEO Ben Verwaayen is convinced BT will be able to lure a majority of its subscribers off the old fixed-line system and onto more lucrative services.

BT's makeover is paying off. Today, roughly one-quarter of its business comes from so-called new wave areas such as information-technology solutions and broadband. And net debt, currently $14 billion, is a massive $20 billion less than in 2001. The company also produced a respectable return on equity of 44.5%.

Company Info

Revenues* $34.4 BILLION
Revenue Growth 0.6%
Return on Equity 47.3%
Total Return20.6%
Profits* $3.4 BILLION
All figures are for the most recent available 12 months.

* Latest available data for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, Jan. 31, Feb. 29, Mar. 31, or Apr. 30. For companies that do not report quarterly, the most recent annual data were used.

Data provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat, BusinessWeek

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Company Snapshot

BT Group PLC, through its subsidiaries, provides voice and data services in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific region. The company’s services comprise local, national, and international telecommunications services, including voice, data, and multimedia services; broadband and Internet products and services; and information technology solutions. It also provides network services and solutions that consist of broadband asymmetric digital subscriber line, interconnect, transit, and private circuits to other operators in the United Kingdom. As of March 31, 2004, the company had approximately one million customers with approximately nine million exchange lines.BT Group plc was incorporated in March 2001 as Newgate Telecommunications Limited and its name was changed to BT Group PLC in September 2001. The company is headquartered in London.

No. of Employees


Data provided by Capital IQ
Ben  Verwaayen

Ben Verwaayen


Ben Verwaayen has been Chief Executive of BT Group PLC since February 1, 2002. Mr. Verwaayen was formerly Vice Chairman of the Management Board of Lucent Technologies in the USA from October 1999. He joined Lucent in September 1997 as Executive Vice President, International and became Chief Operating Officer the following month. Mr. Verwaayen was appointed to the Board of Directors of BT Group PLC on January 14, 2002. Mr. Verwaayen is a Dutch national.