November 20, 2012 / 8:40 AM / in 5 years

Telecom Plus first-half profit rises

Nov 20 (Reuters) - British utility Telecom Plus Plc reported an 8 percent rise in first-half profit on strong customer growth and said it was confident of reporting record profit and turnover for the full year.

The company, which provides gas, electricity, fixed line telephone and broadband internet services, said customer numbers increased by 22,657 to 438,146 during the six months ended Sept. 30.

Telecom Plus said the second half of the fiscal year had seen a strong start, with record rate of new service growth over the last seven weeks.

The company also benefited from recent price hikes by larger energy suppliers, it said.

High utility bills have been a major driver of household expenditure in the United Kingdom.

However, the company said it would see a brief lull in activity during the holiday season.

The company’s first-half pretax profit rose to 12.1 million pounds ($19.3 million) from 11.1 million pounds a year earlier. Revenue increased 30 percent to 210 million pounds.

Telecom Plus raised its interim dividend to 13 pence from 10 pence a year earlier.

Shares in the company were up 1.85 percent at 882 pence at 0817 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

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