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Billy Wood

Member Article

Turnover surges 140% at fibre optic firm building BT Openreach alternative

The Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre has hailed a ‘transformational’ year at the broadband infrastructure business after turnover jumped 140% and the business laid thousands of kilometers of fibre optic cable.

With turnover rising to £15.4m and gross profit up to £13.5m for the year ending 31 December 2016, the group has also added 29 new cities to its coverage area and signed up 54 new partners for its fibre optic network.

While the company still made a net loss after tax of £12.6m, CityFibre’s Chief, Greg Mesch, hailed the more than doubling of its contracted revenue book, with initial contract values hitting £75m last year, and claimed that the firm was well on its way to challenging BT Openreach’s hegemony.

He commented: “2016 was truly a transformational year for CityFibre. Alongside delivering on our stated growth strategy, the acquired network footprint has accelerated our original business plan by up to seven years.”

He added: “CityFibre now has significant presence in 42 cities across the UK and the rapid commercialisation of the Group’s assets underlines the strong demand for an alternative to BT Openreach at a national level.

“We continue to see significant levels of demand from both business and public services sectors alongside increasing interest from mobile operators and residential broadband providers.”

The momentum has started to gather at alternative fibre optic providers in the last 12 months after an Ofcom ordered BT to separate its Openreach network from its wider consumer group, after it was found to be hampering competition and squeezing the profits of rivals.

In March’s Spring Budget, the Chancellor unveiled a £200m investment boost for alternative providers of fibre optic cable as it looked to encourage competition in the industry and turbo charge the roll-out of superfast broadband across the country.

Mesch said: “With the regulatory and political landscapes now both favouring alternative fibre investment, CityFibre has never been better placed to capitalise on expanding its existing footprint and a growing number of near term strategic opportunities.”

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