Business

BT adding 100 jobs in Northern Ireland following better than expected earnings

BT has reported turnover of £6 billion in the second quarter

BT is recruiting for 100 new jobs in Northern Ireland as the company reported better than expected earnings for the second quarter of the year.

The telecoms giant has continued to attract new customers follow its acquisition of mobile operator EE.

The group said adjusted revenue rose 1.1 per cent to £6 billion while pre-tax profit grew 24 per cent to £873 million.

BT added 63,000 new customers in the quarter, while EE saw numbers rise by 280,000.

The company said it was seeking to fill positions "across our lines of business in Northern Ireland including procurement, design and delivery, BT Flex and our technology services and operations division."

The increase in staffing levels comes as BT secured a number of major contracts over the past three months include with the Public Prosecution Service NI, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, and Account NI.

There are now more than 265,000 homes and businesses in the north connected to superfast fibre broadband over the BT network.

And the company said it was continuing to invest in its network, particularly in rural areas.

Current projects include extended reach high-speed VDSL cables in Portrush and 'fibre to the premises' in Newtownards.

Colm O’Neill, head of BT in Ireland said the financial results were "solid".

"BT continues to invest in infrastructure, innovative products and services, and jobs in Northern Ireland to maintain our leadership position in the communications and IT services sector," he said.

"Increasing the availability and speeds of the fibre broadband network is a priority, and throughout this financial year we are installing new technologies in locations as well as delivering broadband projects in conjunction with the NI government.”

Meanwhile, BT revealed its pension deficit rose from £6.2bn in June to £9.5bn.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "BT has again reported impressive growth in its consumer division. The group continues to hoover up the majority of new broadband connections and more customers are switching on to BT's TV package.

"However, the elephant in the room is the increase in the pension deficit. With a deficit that size, extra contributions will surely be needed to plug the shortfall after the next review in June.

"BT also need to service the extra debt taken on to fund the EE acquisition."

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