Increase in BT Ireland's revenues


REVENUES AT BT Ireland rose 1 per cent in the year to the end of March as earnings before tax and write-offs rose 9 per cent.

The company, which employs 3,000 people across Northern Ireland and the Republic, said investment in communications infrastructure and strong demand for network and IT services had helped boost its performance.

The company has embarked on a major expansion of its local loop unbundling network project, where it puts its own equipment into Eircom exchanges. It plans to unbundle a further 29 exchanges in places such as Shannon town, Letterkenny, Thurles, Gorey, Killarney and Portlaoise, taking its total to 89 exchanges.

“It reduces our dependency on the Eircom network,” said Colm O’Neill, BT Ireland chief executive.

The company, which employs 700 people in the Republic, is satisfied with “both the top and the bottom line” results, Mr O’Neill added.

“We have delivered increased revenues, profits and free cash flow, despite the economic headwinds, which demonstrates the stability and strength of our business.”

BT Ireland’s consumer division, which operates in Northern Ireland, recorded strong demand for BT Infinity, its fibre broadband service, while demand for BT Vision, the company’s television service, has “gathered momentum”, according to the company, and will receive a boost from the switch-off of analogue television signals in Northern Ireland in October.

The company added a number of clients to its growing IT services division during the period, with contracts signed including the Department of Social Protection, Tourism Ireland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Overall, BT Business recorded double-digit percentage revenue growth, the company said.

The company also signed wholesale contracts in the Republic with Telefónica Ireland and 3 Ireland during the year.

BT Ireland’s parent BT Group plc, the UK’s largest fixed-line phone company, reported a 4 per cent increase in fourth-quarter operating profit, beating analyst estimates.

The company said it would increase its dividends to shareholders by 10-15 per cent each year for the next three years.