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Introduction

The 2003 financial year was characterised by a focus on implementing and delivering the three-year strategy announced in April 2002 and further corporate transactions in the continued restructuring of the group and reduction of net debt. The corporate transactions included the unwind of the Concert joint venture on 1 April 2002 and the disposal of our interest in Cegetel for £2.6 billion.

The 2002 financial year was dominated by a series of corporate transactions designed to focus and transform the group and reduce its net debt position. Those corporate transactions included raising £5.9 billion through the rights issue in June 2001, selling our Japanese telecom and Spanish mobile investments for £4.8 billion, selling the Yell directories business for approximately £2 billion, the demerger of mmO2 and the sale and leaseback of properties for £2.4 billion.

During the 2001 financial year the group underwent an organisational restructuring that resulted in the formation of the lines of business with activities being grouped by market sector rather than geography. Significant acquisitions were also made for a total consideration of £11.9 billion, including Viag Interkom and Telfort.

As a result of the major restructuring of the group and the significant level of corporate transactions completed during the period under review, we believe it is difficult for investors to meaningfully compare the financial performance of the group between the financial years under review. In this Financial review the commentary is therefore focused principally on the trading results of the continuing activities of BT Group before goodwill amortisation and exceptional items. In comparing the continuing activities of the group, the results of our discontinued activities, namely our Japanese telecom and Spanish mobile investments, Yell and mmO2 are excluded. Goodwill amortisation is excluded because the annual charge has varied significantly during the period under review as a result of the corporate transactions noted above and the exceptional impairment charges. The exceptional items are excluded because they predominantly relate to the corporate transactions rather than the trading activities of the group. This is also consistent with the way that financial performance is measured by management and we believe allows a meaningful comparison to be made of the trading results of the group during the period under review.

The goodwill amortisation and exceptional items are therefore analysed and discussed separately from the line of business results in this Financial review because they are considered to be a reflection of the corporate activity rather than the trading activity of the lines of business.

The following table shows the summarised profit and loss account which includes a reconciliation of the key performance measures before and after goodwill amortisation and exceptional items and is discussed further in this Financial review. The operating results by line of business are discussed in addition to the overall group results as we believe the activities and markets they serve are distinct and this analysis provides a greater degree of insight to investors.

Summarised profit and loss account

Line of Business Summary

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