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AT&T aims for $4bn annual savings as inflation bites, says CFO

Pascal Desroches AT&T.jpg

Inflation is hitting AT&T, the company’s CFO told a financial conference yesterday.

Pascal Desroches (pictured) told yesterday’s Credit Suisse annual communications conference that the company has increased prices, as “a response to higher-than-expected inflation trends”.

The company is addressing inflation with a cost savings initiative, expected to reach a run rate of more than US$4 billion by the end of this year, he said.

AT&T considered a “higher-than-typical level of inflation” when setting its 2022 budget, said Desroches.

At the same time, he told the virtual conference, the company will use federal funding in support of fibre build “to expand its network to additional customer locations”. This will mean “potential upside above AT&T’s existing guidance”, he said.

AT&T expects to connect more than 30 million customers directly to fibre by 2025, said the CFO. “Fibre build progress continues”, and “AT&T is acquiring new customers and seeing strong penetration rates thanks to a straightforward go-to-market approach”, he said.

AT&T’s aim is to “help provide internet for all Americans and expand the total addressable market for broadband access”, said Desroches, who became CFO in April 2021, having moved from a similar role at WarnerMedia when AT&T owned that business. Desroches took over from John Stephens, who retired in March 2021 after 28 years with the company.

AT&T said it continues to work with state and local government municipalities across the country to provide affordable broadband connectivity to low-income customers through the Affordable Connectivity Program, Desroches told the Credit Suisse conference.