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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 08:06 GMT
New wave services lift BT profits
BT office
BT is battling a decline in its fixed line business
Telecoms giant BT has unveiled a slight rise in profits for the first half of the year.

Pre-tax profits before one-off costs rose 3% to 1.13bn in the six months to September 30, compared to one year ago.

The group said "new wave" revenues, from IT, broadband and mobile services had helped drive earnings higher, while traditional business revenues fell 5%.

But BT profits fell in the second quarter to 489m from 571m - thanks to the 70m cost of setting up Openreach.

Improved access

BT was forced to set up the new unit in order to avoid being broken up by regulator Ofcom.

Openreach operates BT's local loop, the last mile or so of cables between local exchanges and people's landline phones, and aims to improve the access of rival telephone companies to the BT network.

The advent of increased competition in the telecom sector has squeezed BT's profits, with the company having to turn increasingly to other areas of the business to drive earnings.

BT revealed that average yearly revenues from households fell by 1 to 253, with broadband revenues helping to offset lower call revenues.

Meanwhile, a 15% increase in revenues from major corporate customers also helped boost profits.

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