BT reports rising demand for broadband and TV [Western Mail (Wales)]
(Western Mail (Wales) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TELECOMS giant BT said it attracted 122,000 new broadband customers in the final three months of last year as it continued its march on the internet market.
The group recruited extra engineers to speed up roll out and repairs after one of the wettest years on record, helping it to increase the number of new retail-customer numbers added by 50%, up from 81,000 the previous quarter.
BT, which is spending Pounds 2.5bn rolling out its fibre broadband network, said it reached 13 million premises in December. It added that, including other providers who use its Openreach network, it installed broadband in 281,000 homes in the period.
Its television service BT Vision also attracted a further 21,000 new customers, helping the group report a betterthan-expected 7% hike in pre-tax profits to Pounds 675m in the three months to December 31.
Chief executive Ian Livingston said: "Take-up is growing strongly with around 1.25 million homes and businesses now enjoying the benefits of faster speeds.
"This gives us an excellent platform for our push into TV and sport later this year."
Last year the company announced an agreement for broadcast rights for Premier League football and Premiership rugby, with BT Sport launching this summer.
However, the group still posted a 6% fall in revenues to Pounds 4.5bn in the three months to December 31 as its global division, which provides services to businesses, was hit by tough trading conditions in Europe and the financial services sector.
But shares in BT rose 5% as investors focused on the betterthan- expected hike in profits.
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