BT posts higher profits despite fall in revenues

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Telecoms giant BT has unveiled a 7 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the third quarter, although revenues fell 6 per cent to £4.5 billion.

The group posted a pre-tax profit of £675 million for the three months to the end of December, up from £628m for the same period a year earlier, and chief executive Ian Livingston said the figures were in line with its expectations.

He said take-up of the firm’s fibre broadband service was “growing strongly”, with about 1.25 million homes and businesses now hooked up, giving it an “excellent platform for our push into television and sport later this year”.

BT is due to launch its sports channel this summer, featuring English Premier League football games and Premiership rugby matches, and the group has taken up space in the Olympic Park in London to produce live shows.

The move into sports broadcasting pitches BT into battle with satellite broadcaster BSkyB, which yesterday reported an 8 per cent rise in first-half operating profits to £647m.