BT shares up 6% on positive forecast

BT posted its first rise in underlying quarterly core earnings in nearly three years and gave a confident forecast, sending the telecom group's stock up more than 6%, a Birmingham Post report said.

The report said underlying profit rose 1%, helped by cost cuts and a 28% jump in so-called new wave revenues from broadband Internet and networked IT services for companies.

The report said BT was increasingly reliant on these businesses to counter a decline in its traditional fixed-line calls business, where it dominates in Britain.

CEO Ben Ver-waayen, who stopped giving forecasts after missing one soon after taking charge in 2002, called the fourth-quarter results the best in four years, as the former monopoly vowed to press on with cost cuts in a tough market and improve profit margins, the report said.