BT’s profits rise as it tackles pension deficit

BTThe telecoms giant has reported a sharp rise in profits despite a fall in sales.

Following a deep cost cutting programme, BT has made £2.9 billion of savings over the past three years and hit its target of £6 billion earnings one year ahead of schedule. The group’s annual pre-tax profits were up 42% to £2.4bn, while sales have fallen by four per cent.

BT’s plans to tackle its pension deficit have also benefited the group’s overall profits. Last summer BT had a £4.1bn deficit, but under an agreement with its pension trustees BT has made a £2 billion upfront payment, followed by nine annual deficit payments of £325 million up to 2021.

The firm announced in March that it would be investing £2bn into the company pension fund.

Commenting on the results, BT’s Chief Executive Ian Livingston, says: "We have made progress again this year delivering for all our stakeholders, but we know there is more to do."

BT also benefited from an increase in broadband demand, with more than one million homes and businesses added to its network in the year to the end of March.

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