BT second quarter sales fall 2% despite 166,000 new broadband customers

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BT second quarter sales fall 2% despite 166,000 new broadband customers

Jenny Williams

BT sales fell 2% in its fiscal second quarter despite the addition of 166,000 customers to its broadband network and continued growth in its Openreach and Global Services businesses.

For the period ending 30th September 2011, BT's overall sales were down 2% in the quarter, falling to £4.9bn from £5bn the year before. While profits rose 15% from £570m from £496m in the same period in 2010, the only BT businesses to show growth were Openreach and Global Services.

Openreach increased sales 4% to £1.3bn, up from £1.2bn in the same quarter in 2010. Global services sales were up 1% from £1.99bn in 2010 to £2bn in the second quarter of 2011.

Jeff Kelly, CEO at BT Global Services, said there is increased business opportunity in helping CIOs manage the cost and security of consumer devices in the workplace as well as the expansion of cloud services, such as hosted voice and virtualisation.

"We are seeing greater demand for professional services because IT departments are concentrating on core activities," said Kelly.

BT Retail and BT Wholesale sales fell 3% and 7% respectively in the quarter.

BT Retail sales were down £66m from £1.9bn in Q2 2010 to £1.85bn in Q2 2011. Business sales in this division were down 5%.

BT said reduced contribution from low-margin IT hardware and equipment sales, the decline in voice sales as well as the impact of lower fixed to mobile call pricing had affected business sales.

Despite the declines, Ian Livingston, chief executive at BT, said the company achieved a 63% share of broadband net additions.

The company added 166,000 retail broadband customers in the second quarter, up 46% on last year's figures. A total of 88,000 customers were also added to its super-fast BT Infinity broadband, doubling customer figures over the past six months to reach over 300,000.


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