The key measure of the underlying revenue trend, underlying revenue excluding transit, was down 3.1%, an improvement compared with recent quarters reflecting better performances from BT Global Services and BT Wholesale. Whilst improving, our underlying revenue trend continues to be impacted by the tough conditions in Europe and the financial services sector, regulatory price reductions and lower revenue from calls and lines.
Reported revenue of £4,359m was down 9% which includes the impact of certain regulatory decisions which have been treated as a specific item (see Specific items below). Excluding specific items, revenue was down 6% at £4,510m. This decline includes a £66m reduction in transit revenue (including mobile termination rate reductions of £37m), a £50m negative impact from foreign exchange movements, and an £8m impact from disposals.
Underlying operating costs before depreciation and amortisation were down 7%, or 5% excluding transit, reflecting the impact of our cost transformation programmes and reduced cost of sales due to the decline in revenue. Total operating costs before depreciation and amortisation and specific items decreased by £274m, or 8%, to £3,069m, and have reduced by over £1bn for the nine months.
Adjusted EBITDA increased by 2% to £1,548m. Foreign exchange movements and disposals had no significant impact on EBITDA.
Depreciation and amortisation decreased by 4% to £706m largely due to lower overall capital expenditure over the last three financial years. Capital expenditure decreased by 14% to £572m primarily reflecting the higher spend last year on Wholesale Broadband Connect.
Ian Livingston, Chief Executive, commenting on the results, said “Our fibre plans are helping to make the UK a broadband leader in Europe. More than 13 million premises can access our fibre broadband and we are passing around 100,000 additional premises every week. Take-up is growing strongly with around 1.25 million homes and businesses now enjoying the benefits of faster speeds. This gives us an excellent platform for our push into TV and Sport later this year. Our pre-season training is going well. We have secured attractive new content and world class production facilities at the Olympic Park and are building a strong team.
“Our engineers have worked tirelessly following some of the wettest weather on record. Not only did they complete a record number of field visits in the quarter, they also connected a further 281,000 homes and businesses to broadband and helped us grow the number of landlines. BT Global Services has also done well securing £1.9bn of new orders, up 17%.
“We have made progress in a number of areas and delivered solid financial results. These are in line with our expectations for the year, which remain unchanged.”