British Telecom has returned to quarterly revenue growth for the first time in four and a half years, driven by record customer demand for superfast broadband and its growing new sports TV service.
The 168-year-old former state telecoms monopoly, which last reported revenue growth shortly before a major profit warning in the first quarter of 2009, said revenue for the three months to the end of December was up 2 percent to £4.6bn, ahead of expectations at £4.5bn. The group also posted third quarter pre tax profit up 8 per cent to £722m, about £50m ahead of expectations.
The results were helped by continued improvements at its Global Services division, the unit behind a 2008 and 2009 profit warning that handles the IT needs of multi-national corporations, which offset the investment in the new sports service.
“This is an encouraging set of results. Our strategic investments are delivering,” said chief executive Gavin Patterson.
The group said it had enjoyed a record quarter for fibre demand, and now had some 1.9 million customers taking the faster and more expensive service, out of its 7.1 million broadband customer base.
BT has 5,640 staff and 1,260 contractors in Yorkshire and generated nearly £1.2 billion for the economy last year, according to a report.