BT saw its pre-tax profits fall for the year to 31 March, partly as a result of having to set up the new “hands off” Openreach organisation to deliver a fairer broadband market for BT’s competitors.
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Openreach is overseeing the expansion of local loop unbundling, which sees BT’s competitors get access to BT’s exchanges to enable them to build their own broadband infrastructure – and mostly independently of BT.
For the year, BT sales were up 6% to £19.51bn. However, pre-tax profits fell from £2.3bn last year to £2bn this time, after the Openreach setting up costs and other items.
BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland said, “This is an excellent set of full-year results delivered in a competitive and fast-changing environment.
Sales have grown by 6% and “new wave” sales grew by 38%, now representing around one third of the group’s business.”
New wave sales include broadband sales. BT says it now has eight million customer broadband connections in the UK, and it is currently upgrading customers to basic 8mbps (megabits per second) connections from the current 2mbps basic broadband speed.