LONDON: UK telecoms giant BT has cashed in on strong demand for its broadband services and other products to post a 17% climb in underlying half-year profit to £1.25 billion ($2.37bn; €1.86bn).

The once state-owned telco said revenues over the six months to September 30 rose by 3% to £9.8bn, at the top end of analysts' expectations.

Ceo Ben Verwaayen said the second quarter figures reflected a "strong team performance with every part of the business playing its part".

The company said its retail division passed three million broadband connections in October, while its corporate arm secured "major transformational contracts" with customers including PepsiCo and Vodafone.

However, BT Retail's share of net broadband additions fell to 25% during the fiscal Q2 from 30% in the previous quarter. The slowdown reflects increasing competition in the sector, notably from rivals such as Carphone Warehouse and BSkyB.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff