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May 16, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:08pm

BT LOOKING HEALTHY BEFORE MCI MERGER

By CBR Staff Writer

In its last end of year report before it swallows MCI Corp, British Telecommunications Plc claims it has succeeded in growing within its domestic market despite increased competition and price cuts. BT reported profits for the year to March 31, 1997 of 3.26bn pounds ($5.2bn) from 3.0bn pounds ($4.9bn) last time. Inland telephone call revenue was virtually unchanged in the year at 4.87bn pounds ($8.0bn) with volume growth of 7% countered price cuts which were worth 7% overall. Group revenues were up 3.4% to 14.94bn pounds ($24.5bn), with overall growth for products up 8%. BT attributed this to expanding overseas operations, exchange line rentals, advanced services, mobile communications and private circuits. Growth overseas was down to BT’s Dutch operations that were bought last April, and its Concert Communications joint venture with MCI Corp in continental Europe, North America and the rest of the world – which it operates with MCI. According to the company, Concert Communications will break even this financial year. Price cuts in the year amounted to more than 800 pounds around 6% of turnover, BT said. International call prices were cut by 14% in the year. Together with the impact of the strength of sterling in the second half of the year, international telephone revenues fell 8.6%. Annual volume growth was 7% Mobile communications saw turnover rise 10.9% to 949 million pounds. BT’s majority-owned cellular subsidiary Cellnet saw subscribers rise by 12.9 percent to 2.7 million connections of which 1.1. million were digital. BT is paying a final dividend of 11.95 pence, making a 6.1% increase in total dividend to 19.85 pence. In addition, it proposes to pay a special dividend of 35 pence per share, costing 2.24 billion pounds.

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