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BT confirms customer exodus

'New wave' compensates for core revenue shortfall

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BT is losing between 50,000 and 100,000 residential customers a month, the UK's dominant fixed-line telco finally confirmed today. This loss of customers even takes into account all those punters who return to the company each month - something BT is keen to brag about in its ads.

This erosion in BT's core customer base, as well as increased competition and regulatory pressure, is being blamed for a five per cent decline in BT's traditional voice-related turnover for the year. But while BT's traditional business continues to suffer, the company's "new wave" technologies - ICT, broadband, mobility and managed services - are helping to fill the void.

New wave turnover was up 30 per cent on the year to £3.39bn and now accounts for 18 per cent of the group's turnover for the year compared to 14 per cent last year. Publishing its prelims for the year, the UK's dominant fixed line telco reported that total turnover dipped one per cent £18.5bn. Pre-tax profit increased swelled 10 per cent to £2bn as the company benefited from improved operating results of the group and lower net interest costs.

By 14 May, BT had 2.45m wholesale broadband lines, an increase of 162 per cent on the number of connections 12 months ago, with around 35,000 new DSL connection being added each week. The ever-increasing number of broadband users in the UK helped broadband revenues climb by 107 per cent on the year to £491m.

Said BT chief exec, Ben Verwaayen: "The results from our new wave businesses show our strategy is working. Our transformation of the business will continue to accelerate. We expect the environment to remain challenging but we will also increase our investment to build on the significant progress already achieved. Our actions and future plans give us confidence in our strategy for the future."

By mid morning shares in BT were up 5.25p (3 per cent) at 178.75p, ®

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