BT reports 81% profit slump

British Telecom has reported an 81% slump in quarterly profit, hit by ongoing problems in its Global Services division.

Pre-tax profit was £113m in the three months to 31 December, down from £601m in the same period last year.

Global Services, which provides networked IT services, registered an operating loss of £501m in the quarter.

Ian Livingstone, chief executive of BT, says the performance of the unit had a “severe impact” on results.

“Three of our businesses performed ahead of expectations in the quarter and the group, excluding Global Services, delivered the best year on year profit growth for five years,” he says.

Operating profit in the telecom company’s retail division rose 9% to £316m while its wholesale unit registered an 18% increase in operating profit.

In November, BT announced it was to cut 10,000 jobs by the end of the financial year.

The company is to merge its BT Vision marketing team with the central consumer marketing team.

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