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Somebody give BT a brolly: National telco blames RAIN for its pain

Adds regulation, recession moans to drizzle grizzle

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BT took a revenues pummeling during its second quarter ended 30 September by posting a 9 per cent decline to £4.47bn this morning.

The national telco blamed the recession, regulation and even rain for its drop in sales during the three-month period. Apparently bad weather has meant a lot of expensive repairs.

BT said pre-tax profit had climbed some 7 per cent in Q2 to £608m compared with £570m a year earlier, which led boss Ian Livingston to describe the quarter as "solid" even though the company was hampered by "economic conditions and regulatory impacts."

BT said it had struggled with trading in Europe and the windswept financial services sector. It was also apparently hamstrung by Ofcom's capping of the telecoms giant's pricing for telephone calls and lines.

Once again, BT's wholesale (sales down 12 per cent to £861m) and global services (sales down 13 per cent to £1.7bn) wings reported the highest drops in revenue.

Meanwhile, sales in its Openreach (revs of £1.2bn, down 1 per cent) and retail (revs of £1.79bn, down 3 per cent) divisions remained relatively flat during the period.

The company told the City on Thursday morning that it was ahead of schedule with its fibre deployment for its next generation broadband service, which still relies heavily on BT's existing copper infrastructure.

It said that the rollout would now be completed by 2014's spring - some 18 months ahead of BT's original plan to bring the tech to around two-thirds of the UK by 2015. ®

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