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BT pays off the doubters with increased share dividend after flat profits for the year

Antony Savvas

BT has posted another poor set of results, reporting flat pre-tax profits for the year and a tiny increase in sales.

Sales crept up by 2% to £20.7bn and pre-tax profits were £2.5bn year-on-year.

Despite the poor performance, BT is increasing its share dividend by 5%.

Michael Rake, BT chairman, said, "I am pleased to report that we are recommending a full-year dividend of 15.8 pence per share, up 5% from last year, reflecting the group's strong performance and the board's continued confidence in the future of the business."

BT's faltering performance as far as the City is concerned saw the decision of CEO, Ben Verwaayen, to leave the company, and he is officially going at the end of the month.

Rake said, "Ben has been an exceptional CEO who has transformed the business through his vision and determination. Under his leadership, BT has developed a strategy that has delivered consistent profitable growth and laid strong foundations for the future."

He is being replaced as CEO by Ian Livingston, currently head of BT Retail.

Emphasising BT's priority of keeping its shareholders happy, Rake said, "I am confident that we have the right strategy and people in place to continue to deliver value for our shareholders and expect to increase dividends per share in 2008/09."

Comms regulator Ofcom recently said it would be tightening up the penalties BT would have to pay to rivals suffering from poor service in the wholesale broadband market.





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