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New managed services contracts help increase revenue at BT

By Clare Weir

An increase in revenue for BT in Ireland has been driven by a number of wins in the managed services sector in Northern Ireland.

During 2013, BT secured a new contract with NI Water and a contract with the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust.

Colm O'Neill, chief executive of BT Ireland, said that around a third of the company's operations in Northern Ireland are now in the managed services portfolio.

Since August 2012, the company has created 270 jobs, including 165 in a new contact centre operation opened in Belfast last November.

Overall, the company employs around 2,400 people.

In the all-Ireland operation for the year to March 31, 2014, revenue of £661.6m was up 2% year-on-year although profit was down 5%.

BT also delivered several large projects including the NI Direct government website and has rolled out fibre broadband to over 90% of Northern Ireland premises.

The last 10% are expected to be connected by December 2015.

"The delivery of the Northern Ireland Broadband Improvement Project will again put Northern Ireland ahead of the rest of the UK, Ireland and most other European countries for availability of fibre broadband technology," said Mr O'Neill.

"This could significantly benefit the region's continued economic growth, but is dependent on the take up of the technology which I'm pleased to say is continuing to grow steadily, with over 175,000 customers now enjoying the many benefits of high speed internet access.

"This will also have a major impact on business and will make a huge difference to how connected we can be, how globally competitive we can be and as a region where people want to come and invest."

He added: "Around 1,000 workers in Northern Ireland are now doing work for other parts of the BT group globally."

BT Britain reported adjusted profits before tax up a better-than-expected 9% to £901m for the year.

Underlying revenues across the group grew by 0.5%.

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