BT sets aside £2bn to reduce pension deficit

BT, the UK’s largest fixed line telecoms group, reported the payment was the start of a 16-year recovery plan.

The company said that its pension deficit had grown to more than £7bn, from just under £4bn in 2012.

The telecoms group, which is also in exclusive talks to buy mobile provider EE from Deutsche Telekom and Orange, reported profits up 12% at £694m for the third quarter.

In February it will also face an auction for Premier League broadcast rights.

Gavin Patterson, BT’s Chief Executive, said: “Openreach [BT’s landline maintenance operation] achieved the highest growth in the number of landlines on record. It was also our best ever quarter for fibre broadband net additions.”