BT drives up new wave sales performance

BT has reported that sales were up 5% for the half-year ending 30 September and pre-tax profits rose by a modest 3%.

BT has reported that sales were up 5% for the half-year ending 30 September and pre-tax profits rose by a modest 3%.

The UK’s biggest telecoms operator was keen to point out that sales from “new wave” services, such as broadband, IT networked services to businesses and mobile revenues were up 43% for the half year.

But despite the continued drive to replace traditional and falling voice service revenues, BT is still operating under a mountain of net debt, owing £8.13bn.

The debt figure is only 3% less than last year, although BT has been on the acquisition path over the last year, having acquired Albacom and Infonet, both of which will help it increase new-wave sales further in the business services field.

BT said it had 6.2m UK broadband users by 30 September, which was up 89% from a year ago.

Total group sales reached £9.6bn, an increase of 5%, and profit before tax was up 3% to £1.1bn before some items were taken into consideration.

From next year, BT will launch its separate broadband business, BT Openreach, designed to deliver a fair wholesale broadband service to its competitors, as ordered by industry regulator Ofcom.

Ofcom earlier this week ordered BT to drive its wholesale broadband costs down further, meaning competitors will be able to re-brand and deliver BT broadband services to their customers more cheaply.

Ben Verwaayen, BT chief executive, said, “Our order book remains strong, with networked IT services contract wins again being over £8bn for the last 12 months.

"And the settlement we have reached with Ofcom provides a foundation for certainty and clarity which will deliver further benefits to our retail and wholesale customers.”



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