Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Cost cuts drive BT profits up 12%

Bt has announced stronger than expected results for the year to March 31 for its all-Ireland operation, despite revenues falling.

The communications giant said revenues fell by 3% to £801.1m, although the trend improved in the fourth quarter when revenues were flat on the previous year.

Operating profits increased by 12% year-on-year, as a result of efficiency initiatives and major contract signings and the company cut its underlying costs by 8%.

Overall the group announced profits of £1bn for the year to March 31. BT said it reduced operating costs by 7% in the last year after it cut 20,000 jobs in the period to March 31 - 5,000 more than expected.

Incoming chief executive of BT Ireland Graham Sutherland, said: "By relentlessly managing our costs, we have freed up resources to make significant investments in Northern Ireland.

"In a highly competitive environment and challenging economic climate, this is helping us differentiate ourselves in this marketplace and support consumers and organisations that are looking for services that are innovative, reliable and most importantly good value."

Mr Sutherland is taking over from Chris Clark, who is leaving to head up BT Enterprises in London.

BT also announced plans to invest another £1bn in its roll-out of super-fast broadband to reach two-thirds of UK homes by 2015. In Northern Ireland broadband speeds of up to 40Mb/s are being initially introduced in Balmoral, Bangor, Lisburn and Newtownards through fibre to the cabinet technology (FTTC).

BT has said it will bring faster broadband speeds to 85% of businesses in rural and urban locations in Northern Ireland by 2011.

It is investing almost £30m in the project with a further £16.5m from DETI.