BT Lifts Interim Dividend by 15%

LONDON -- Shares in BT (LSE: BT-A.L  ) (NYSE: BT  ) lifted 5.7%, or 12.20 pence, to 224.70 pence at the time of this writing, as the telecom group released its Q2 and half-year results this morning.

This was despite revenues falling 9% to 4.47 billion pounds in Q2, leading to a 7% drop for the half-year revenue, which came in at 8.96 billion pounds. No doubt the reason for the share price rising this morning was largely because of investors jumping on the bandwagon following BT's news that it was lifting its interim dividend by 15% to 3 pence, however.

Pre-tax profit was reported as 608 million pounds for the second quarter, a 7% increase year on year, helping the H1 pre-tax profit to rise 8% comparatively to a figure of 1.19 billion pounds.  

Elsewhere, adjusted earnings per share jumped up 7% to 6 pence for Q2 (reported EPS rose 13% to 7.2 pence), while the half-year EPS figure bumped up 8% to 11.7 pence (reported EPS came in at 13 pence, a 15% increase year on year).

Chief executive Ian Livingston commented:

We have delivered another solid quarter of growth in profit before tax despite the economic conditions and regulatory impacts. We continue to make significant investments in the future of our business and we are again accelerating our fibre roll-out. We now expect fibre to be available to two-thirds of UK premises during spring 2014, more than 18 months ahead of our original schedule, and we are recruiting more than 1,000 engineers in 2012 to help deliver this.

BT is a firm favorite of income investors, and today's interim dividend gain of 15% was at the top end of the forecast in the company's final results back in May, which stated the expectations that dividends would grow by 10%-15% per year for the next three years.

Indeed, the company's shares form a percentage of City analyst Neil Woodford's holdings, who has delivered an impressive 347% total return -- and thrashed the wider market -- during the 15 years to Dec. 31, 2011.

What's more, you can discover the shares he now holds -- and which losers he's avoided -- within "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor."

You can download this free Fool report about market legend Neil Woodford today. But hurry, the report is available for a limited time only.

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Sam Robson does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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