Strip out the big gains generated from KCom 's (KCOM) disposal of its national network infrastructure business, and the pre-tax profit increase in the table becomes a humbling 7 per cent decline. An investment strategy focused on selling high-speed fibre internet services to businesses was mainly to blame for this fall, as the telco tapped into its much healthier war chest in a bid to upset BT 's (BT.A) monopoly.
The nation's thirst for speedy broadband was boosted by the government's initiative to deliver 'superfast' broadband. Some 26,000 premises in the group's Hull and East Yorkshire heartland were connected by the end of the period, out of a possible network of roughly 78,000. That success, coupled with several big contract wins for the enterprise division following its landmark deal with HMRC, spurred KCom to post sales growth, albeit slight, for the first time in years.