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CNBC Exclusive: BT CEO Stresses Broadband Strength

CNBC.com
Thursday, 26 Jul 2007 | 3:42 AM ET

Gaining share in the broadband market is now a key part of U.K. telecom BT's earnings growth, the company's CEO told CNBC Thursday.

BT CEO on Margin Squeeze
BT posted a 3% increase in first-quarter operating earnings Thursday, meeting expectations, but as CEO Ben Verwaayen tells CNBC's Steve Sedgwick, margins are being squeezed.

The company reported a 3% rise in operating earnings for its fiscal first quarter, in line with expectations, and the rise was largely due to a 38% rise in broadband market share, BT CEO Ben Verwaayen told "Squawk Box Europe."

"BT Retail profits are up almost 10% so you can see we know how to translate this particular part of the market," Verwaayen said.

"People do so much more with broadband than just downloading something," he added. "It's so important as an ingredient in their lifestyle or productivity that you can look to differentiation."

Verwaayen also dismissed speculation about a possible break-up of the company, but stopped short of denying talks with private equity buyout firms.

"We are a company with momentum, I'm not going to comment on speculation," he said.

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