Cost controls help BT to beat profit forecasts

LONDON Fri Feb 1, 2013 2:05am EST

LONDON Feb 1 (Reuters) - Strong demand for broadband and tight cost control helped Britain's BT to post a better-than-expected 7 percent rise in third-quarter profit, and to keep its outlook unchanged.

In a continuation of the strategy that has sent shares in the group to a near five-year high, BT said it had recorded profits in the three months to December 31 of 675 million pounds ($1.07 billion), compared with a forecast of 632 million pounds.

Group revenues, weighed down by regulation and recession, were down 6 percent and down 3 percent on an underlying basis excluding transit revenues.

The group was boosted by 122,000 new broadband customers after it employed more engineers in recent months, and the move by more than a million of its BT Retail customers to take its faster BT Fibre product.

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