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BT claimed a “great” first quarter today, as its new wave business more than made up for the retreat of its stuffy old traditional telecoms operations.

The veteran operator turned in revenues of £4.8bn for the quarter ending 30 June, up 5 per cent. Pretax profits, before specific items, were up 20 per cent to £511m. The specific items, essentially the cost of rationalising its regional offices, knocked the pretax figure down to £499m.

The new wave label covers networked IT services, broadband and mobility, and these businesss brought in £1.4bn, up 48 per cent on the year. This more than offset the 9 per cent decline in its traditional businesses.

Traditional business was down 6 per cent, a slower rate of decline than last year. Nevertheless, BT couldn’t resist bemoaning its lot, saying the decline “continues to reflect regulatory intervention, competition, price reductions” as well as the cost of pushing customers to its new wave services.

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