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BT profits climb on brisk broadband sales

Total sales slide 2% for Q2, wholesale wing remains flabby

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BT reported second quarter sales of £4.89bn, a 2 per cent drop, while pre-tax profits rose 15 per cent to £570m for the period ended 31 September.

Earnings per share rose from 5.1 pence to 5.6 pence and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were up 3 per cent at BT, with the company reporting £1.49bn for the quarter.

The national telco said it had a 63 per cent share of retail broadband net additions, or 166,000 new customers for that service, during Q2.

BT's average revenue per user (ARPU) figure was up by £5 in the quarter to £335, courtesy of more customers signing up to broadband products, said the telco.

The company added that it had surpassed the six million mark for its total customerbase in the last three months.

“We expect to continue to offset the economic headwinds through improved customer service and processes, better efficiency, and investment in the future of the business," said BT boss Ian Livingston.

He said the company's outlook for the year remained unchanged.

BT's wholesale division saw the biggest decline in revenue during the second quarter, with sales significantly dipping below the billion pound mark. They fell some 7 per cent in the last three months to £982m, compared with the same period in 2010 when the firm reported revenue of £1.05bn.

Livingston had previously warned that "regulatory decisions" could hamper the wholesale wing of BT's business, which leases out telephony and broadband services to rival ISPs.

Sally Davis resigned from her post as BT wholesale chief at the end of October. ®

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