Broadband demand boosts BT’s profits

PROFITS at BT topped �500million pounds during the final three months of last year, the telecoms group said today, with the proportion of new broadband customers using its own service hitting an eight-year high.

PROFITS at BT topped �500million pounds during the final three months of last year, the telecoms group said yesterday, with the proportion of new broadband customers using its own service hitting an eight-year high.

BT said a total of 356,000 customers were added to its network during the three months to December 31, compared with 253,000 the previous quarter.

Out of the latest new additions, 188,000 or 53% were using BT’s own broadband service, the highest figure since 2003, rather than those of rival providers such as Virgin Media, Sky and Talk Talk.

BT Vision, the group’s broadband-based television service, added 40,000 customers during period, up from 24,000 additions in the previous quarter and bring the total to 545,000.


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Yesterday’s customer data was issued alongside trading figures showing a 30% increase in pre-tax profits to �530m for the final three months of 2010. The figure was well ahead of City expectations, with analysts having forecast a pre-tax total of around �495m.

The increase was achieved despire a 3% fall in revenues to �5billion, with call and landline sales being hit by an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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The performance marks a continuing return to form for BT which hauled itself back into profit last year as a result of a drive to reduce costs, including job losses.

BT, whose research operation in based at Adastral Park, Martlesham, near Ipswich, said it had continued to make labour savings during the last quarter, the second of its financial year, by employing fewer contractors.

The group is also expecting to return to revenues growth by 2012/13, pinning its hopes on services such as BT Vision and high-speed broadband.

BT chief executive Ian Livingston said yesterday: “BT Retail had a good quarter with growth in business revenues and our highest share of broadband net additions for eight years.”

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