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BT CEO responds to question on whether he should step down after ‘difficult’ year

  • BT reported revenues of £6 billion ($7.96 billion) for its second quarter, a drop of around 2 percent from last year
  • BT shares are down 27 percent so far this year amid an accounting scandal at its Italian unit
  • Patterson told CNBC that there's a future in the network business

The chief executive officer of the biggest telecom firm in the U.K. has told CNBC he wants to keep his position despite disappointing earnings and a shareholder call for him to resign.

"It has been a difficult year, no question about that, for the company and for me personally," Gavin Patterson told CNBC Thursday. "But I'm absolutely determined to see through the strategy that we have set."

"I am very confident in the support of the board and the new chairman … I'm sure I'll get the chance to see (the strategy) through," he added.

BT reported revenues of £6 billion ($7.96 billion) for its second quarter, a drop of around 2 percent from last year. It also reported a 4 percent decline in profits on Thursday. The company is struggling due to investments in sports rights and improvements to its customer service. Higher costs for pensions are also a drag for the firm.

Patterson told CNBC that investors should not expect specific dividends guidance. "I don't anticipate us going back to a situation where we give a specific number, however we're reiterating our guidance and our progressive dividends statement today."

BT shares are down 27 percent so far this year amid an accounting scandal at its Italian unit. One top 20 investor also called on the company to line up a replacement for Patterson earlier this year, according to the U.K.'s The Telegraph newspaper.

Despite the difficult environment, Patterson told CNBC that there's a future in the network business. "It's the combination of fixed and mobiles network together, the so-called converged products and services, that's the future of the business, and you will see us making more moves in that area," he said.