- Utility services provider Telecom Plus posted a 1.8% rise in first-half profit and held its dividend steady, as customer numbers bounced back following a lull during the UK's initial national Covid-19 lockdown.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through September increased to £21.5 million, up from £21.1 million year-on-year.

Revenue slipped 1% to £349 million, which the company said was primarily due to lower energy prices.

Adjusted profit rose slightly to £27.7 million, up from £27.5 million.

Telecom Plus held its interim dividend at 27p per share.

Telecom Plus said a drop in customer numbers due to the spring lockdown in the UK had largely reversed, with them ending down just 0.3% at 650,497.

The company said it had made a 'strong' start to the second half, with customer numbers returning to growth.

'We delivered a resilient performance during the first half of the financial year, successfully adapting to the challenges created by Covid,' chief executive Andrew Lindsay said.

'Our competitive position improved following the reduction in the energy price cap from 1 October 2020, which has contributed to a recent marked uptick in partner activity and a return to customer growth.'

'Over the last seven weeks we have seen a significant increase in the number of new partners joining the business; this is an encouraging lead-indicator for the rate of future customer growth over the coming months.'

'We anticipate low single-digit percentage growth in customer and service numbers for the year to March, and look forward to delivering full-year adjusted profits in line with our previous guidance.'

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