BT has reported an increase in earnings for its fourth quarter, with strong spending cuts and high demand for broadband helping the telecoms firm offset an overall drop in sales.
BT revealed the news on Wednesday [PDF] when it released its latest financial statement for the quarter ending 31 March. BT Group revenues were down 4 per cent to £19bn, however profit was up by 13 per cent to £690m for the full year.
"In what remains a challenging environment we have delivered another year of growth in profits and free cash flow," said chief executive Ian Livingston.
"Our financial strength has allowed us to invest in the business, make a two billion pound payment into the pension fund, reward employees and deliver double digit growth in shareholder returns."
The company cited strong demand for its broadband services as the key reason for its increased profits.
BT reported that it has added roughly 1,085,000 new homes and businesses to its broadband network over the year. BT has also announced that it has managed to roll out its fibre services to 10 million UK homes ahead of schedule.
Despite its boasts, BT's chief competitor remains ahead, with Virgin Media announcing it had passed a milestone of 10 million homes having access to 100Mbit/s earlier in February, nearly three months before BT.
Ovum analyst Mark Giles said that despite being late to market, BT will continue to improve.
"While Virgin Media was fast to market, BT is catching up quite quickly," Giles told V3.
"You can launch to market early, but it's really about waiting for customers to be interested in the service and right now BT's drawing interest by pricing its products competitively."
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