Belfast Telegraph

BT wins new contracts as Irish revenues rise to £681m

By Margaret Canning

Telecommunions giant BT has said revenue for its Irish operation increased by 7% to £681m in the past year.

And the firm said that in Northern Ireland, it had won new business and public sector contracts with Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP), as well as with Abbey Insurance Broker and Danske Bank.

The firm said profits for Ireland in the last quarter were up 3% year-on-year, thanks to growth in fibre broadband in Northern Ireland and call volumes and data in the Republic. The company employs around 2,300 people in the province.

Colm O'Neill, BT managing director for major business and the public sector in UK and Ireland, said: "BT Ireland has delivered a good financial performance in the year, with revenue up 7% and profit (EBITDA) up 8%.

"Our significant local and global capabilities are boosting sales to the business and public sectors, as we support their transformation programmes and growth ambitions.

"Fibre broadband remains a strategic priority, and while we are currently at over 93% availability, we are focused on bringing improved broadband speeds to harder to reach rural areas."

BT also revealed that it had completed its takeover of mobile network operator EE, which has 98% 4G coverage across Northern Ireland. And it said 250,000 consumers and businesses were now receiving fibre broadband via BT's network.

It said it had made Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) available to more than 4,000 rural premises. FTTP creates a direct line between the network and home or business.

In Northern Ireland, it is installing fibre to the premises technology at new housing developments, including a new 140-unit property development at Harberton BT9 on Belfast's Malone Road.

The technology is aimed at download speeds of up to 330 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 40 Mbps.

There was a 15% rise in pre-tax profits to £3bn UK-wide for the year to March 31 after seeing revenues rise by 6% to £18.9bn. BT also announced a £6bn programme UK-wide to upgrade its network in a move to extend ultrafast broadband.

As part of the three year upgrade, it will replace its ageing copper wire that most homes rely on for internet access, with aims to roll out fibre optics to two million homes and businesses - mainly in new housing developments, high streets and business parks.

Belfast Telegraph