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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 February, 2004, 12:11 GMT
BT Group shrugs off revenue drop
BT Group logo
Sales are down but profits are up at BT Group
Telecoms giant BT Group has shrugged off falling prices and competition woes to dial up third quarter earnings at the top end of City forecasts.

Lower interest charges and cost cuts saw underlying pre-tax profits up 1% to 526m, while revenues slipped by 2.6% to 4.58bn.

The fall in turnover was due to price cuts and regulatory controls in the group's traditional landline business.

Propping up BT's profits, however, was growth in key "new wave" technologies.

Broadband shines

Sales of broadband and information technology products rose 31% to 838m in the third quarter.

"This has offset much of the impact of the 6% decline in our traditional business," said chief executive Ben Verwaayen.

The company said it was adding more than 45,000 broadband orders every week, with almost two million lines in operation.

Finance director Ian Livingstone said the company continued to aim towards 1bn of cost savings over the next three years.

BT Group, which currently employs 100,000 staff, said it did not plan compulsory redundancies as part of its cost cutting drive.

It loses about 5,000 to 6,000 people each year through natural wastage.

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