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BT disappoints City with Q1 profits

Loads-a-money, but not as much as expected

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BT unveiled disappointing first quarter profits yesterday, triggering a drop in its share price as the City reacted to results which were at the bottom end of analyst forecasts. Shares dropped 44p to £10.86 at the close of business as pre-tax profits for the three months to 30 June recorded only a seven per cent improvement to £772 million, compared to the £723 million figure recorded at the same time last year. Negative City sentiment to BT's "lacklustre and unaggressive" ADSL announcement didn't help either. The fall in share price is in sharp contrast to earlier this week when BT's shares rose on the back of news that the company had gained full control of the UK's second largest mobile phone operator, Cellnet. Sir Peter Bonfield, the telecomms giant's chief executive, cited the cost of developing new business, acquiring mobile customers and increased payments to other UK operators in a climate of increased competition as depressing the results. ®

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