BT has posted third-quarter pre-tax profits of £568m, up from £558m in the same quarter last year. Revenues rose eight per cent to £4.9bn. The results beat analyst forecasts of pre-tax profits of £490m on revenues of £4.87bn.
The boost came from the so-called 'new wave' growth in broadband, mobile and networked IT services, which gave BT's revenues an increase of 42 per cent (£1.6m). BT has been relying on these markets to counter the drop in fixed-line business.
"Broadband growth continues to be very strong with the number of BT Wholesale connections now standing at more than seven million. This is pushing the UK to the front of Europe in broadband take-up," said BT chief executive Ben Verwaayen.
However, the results come at a time of growing concern about the prospects of the telecoms sector across Europe amid increasing competition, falling prices and rapidly changing technology.
ABN AMRO analyst Stuart Gordon said: "The numbers look OK. The earnings per share is slightly better than expected due to lower depreciation and lower leavers costs, but trends in the business remain weak."
Reports circulating last week suggested that BT is considering a £350m bid for Pipex Communications, one of two companies to own WiMax spectrum in the UK, in a bid to gain a foothold in the wireless broadband market.
But Verwaayen played down the rumours. "I do not think you need an acquisition to get into that space," he told CNBC TV, adding that BT could get WiMax spectrum by bidding for it at auction.
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