Strong broadband demand boosts BT

Strong demand for broadband boosted BT’s pre-tax profits in the three months to December, it said this morning.

Pre-tax profit jumped seven per cent to £675m in the third quarter, compared to forecasts of £632m. Over the nine months to December, profits soared eight per cent to £1.8bn.

BT said it was adding around 100,000 new premises every week for its fibre optic broadband.

The group also became the biggest fibre broadband network in Britain, overtaking Virgin Media, after it passed 13m homes with the technology. More than a million of its BT Retail customers are now using the faster and more expensive product.

Revenues, hit by regulation and economic pressures, fell six per cent over the three months to £4.5bn.

Chief executive Ian Livingston confirmed that the results were in line with expectations, which remain unchanged.