BT posts poor quarterly results despite fibre roll-out

Profits down in Q3, due in part to the company's large pension deficit

BT Group saw underlying revenues for the third quarter fall 3 percent to £4.51 billion, with pre-tax profits also tumbling.

BT said pre-tax profits rose 7 percent to £675 million - before charges to cover the company's large pension deficit and other items. Pre-tax profits actually posted after specific items were £628 million, down 4 percent.

Net debt, as of 31 December, stood at £8.14 billion - up 5 percent. Despite the poor financial performance the shareholders were looked after with earnings per share up 8 percent to 6.6p.

Ian Livingston, BT chief executive, preferred to focus on the group's national fibre broadband roll-out, which includes this week BT signing major government funded contracts with local authorities.

Livingston said, "More than 13 million premises can access our fibre broadband and we are passing around 100,000 additional premises every week.

"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."

He added, "BT Global Services [the outsourcing arm] has also done well, securing £1.9 billion of new orders, up 17 percent." The operation returned a small profit in the quarter after previous losses.

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