BT Ireland has reported a 4% increase in annual revenue for the 12 months to the end of March.
It marks continued progress for the communications group’s Irish division, which this time last year reported its first annual revenue increase for five years.
Yesterday’s update showed that BT Ireland — which has in recent years withdrawn from the consumer market in order to focus on serving corporate customers — generated revenues of nearly £740m (€875m) in its last financial year, excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements.
Profit, however, was “flat” year-on-year, as a result of investment in the delivery of several large retail and wholesale contracts, offset by continued cost transformation initiatives.
Chief executive of BT’s Irish business, Colm O’Neill, said the division delivered “a solid year of growth” in terms of revenue, while profit and cash flow were maintained “in a challenging economic environment”.
“We continue to manage our cost base carefully, while making investments in the future of our business to support our customers and to improve our service. Our track record in delivery, our unique combination of network, and IT services capabilities, and the value for money delivered through our services, are BT’s key differentiators in the Irish market,” he said.
BT Ireland’s wholesale division had a strong performance in the Republic during the year (new contracts being signed with the likes of Sky Ireland, UTV, and AirSpeed Telecom), while the consumer division in the North also showed good growth.
BT’s shares hit a five-year high in London yesterday after the group reported a 2% rise in yearly pre-tax profits, rising broadband customer numbers, a boost to dividend levels, and an upgraded outlook for next year.
Meanwhile, BT’s new three-year deal to show English Premier League soccer games, from next season, also includes wholesale rights for Ireland.
Regarding the new BT Sport service, a company spokesperson said the company is in discussions with a number of companies to make the new service available to Irish viewers in time for next season.
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