UPDATE 1-Telecom Plus sees higher first-half profit
July 17 (Reuters) - British multi-utility provider Telecom Plus reported an 11 percent rise in first-quarter customer numbers, helped by the addition of more distributors to its network, and said it expects profit in the first half to be ahead of last year.
The company, which owns and operates the Utility Warehouse brand, markets its services through individual distributors - mostly clients who work part-time and promote the company's services to friends, family and colleagues at work.
The number of distributors rose about 6 percent in the quarter ended June 30 to 39,848.
Telecom Plus provides gas, electricity, fixed-line telephone and broadband internet services, allowing customers to save on utility bills by using a single supplier.
"We have seen a strong start to the current quarter, supported by a short-term promotion launched at the start of July," the company said in a statement.
The company added 13,372 customers in the quarter ended June 30, taking its customer base to 474,404. The number of services provided rose 16 percent during the quarter to 1,666,327.
Shares in Telecom Plus closed at 1390 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange. The stock, which will start trading ex-dividend from Wednesday, has risen about 8 percent since the company reported full-year results in May.
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