Markets nervous about Covid-19 lockdowns ahead of US GDP and ECB meeting – Business Live | Company

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BT shares rose more than 6% early in the session despite falling profits by a fifth in the first half of the year as the sport disappeared from television as investors welcomed the return of the dividend and an increase in earnings. earnings forecast this year.The telecoms group’s pre-tax profits fell 20% to £ 1bn in the six months to the end of September, as revenues fell 8% to £ 10.6bn. BT blamed the fall on factors such as its pay-TV business BT Sport which was hit hard as live sport, including the Premier League, was put on hold during the pandemic lockdown.

The company’s consumer division, which includes BT Sport, saw revenue drop 6% to £ 4.8 billion.

Philip Jansen, managing director of BT, said the resilience of the company means it will increase its annual profit forecast to between £ 7.3 billion and £ 7.5 billion. In addition, the company said it expects profits to reach at least £ 7.9bn in the fiscal year through the end of March, giving it confidence needed to restore next year’s dividend to 7.7 pence.

Jansen, 53, said sales at his national department store chain EE rebounded, up 10% in the past six weeks from pre-Covid, helped by the launch of the new Apple 5G phone.

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