LONDON - BT Group, the British telecoms and television broadcasting group, posted a dip in profits on falling revenues at its unit providing services to businesses.

Pre-tax profits edged down one percent in BT's second quarter to £666 million ($882 million, 758 million euros), BT said in an earnings statement. Revenue fell also by one percent to £5.9 billion ($7.9 billion, 6.8 billion euros) in the three months to the end of September compared with its second quarter in 2016. Global Services was BT's worse performing operation in the reporting period with a ten-percent drop in revenues. The division is part of BT's group-wide restructuring programme, which cost the company £52 million overall in the second quarter.

BT has cut 1,500 roles in its first half, "mainly from managerial and back office areas", and expects a similar cull in the six months to the end of March. The restructuring programme is set to cost BT £300 million but the group hopes to make the same amount in annual savings going forward. "We are pressing ahead with restructuring Global Services to make ourselves a more efficient competitor, particularly in Europe", the group said in the statement. Weakness at the division providing support to businesses was offset by a brighter performance from its "consumer-facing lines", notably BT's mobile network operator EE, noted chief executive Gavin Patterson said.

But the company also suffered from a sharp decline in the number of new net customers for its TV offerings. In addition, BT blamed its lacklustre overall performance on the rising cost of broadcasting live Premier League football and higher pension costs. Meanwhile the fall-out from improper accounting identified in BT's Italian business last year also made its presence felt.