BETTER THAN expected full-year figures were reported by BT, which attributed these to a dramatic increase in internet-related calls. Pre-tax profits rose 4.5% to £3.3 billion - excluding an exceptional windfall of £1bn from its failed attempt to buy American telecoms giant MCI. BT's total customer tally was static, due to competition from cable and other sources, but average call volumes rose sharply thanks to internet traffic - now accounting for 18% of all local calls.
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