BT Group said net profits for the three months to 30 September 2004 rose to GBP428 million, from GBP376 million a year earlier, thanks in the main to a record number of new broadband internet connections during its fiscal second quarter. Sales also rose from GBP4.57 billion to GBP4.6 billion as BT signed up more than 600,000 high speed internet users during the period to end September with 3.3 million customers; the telco is aiming for six million broadband accounts in 2006. Chief executive Ben Verwaayen has slashed internet prices to entice new customers in the face of a shrinking market for basic voice call services. Sales from broadband, computer-services contracts and mobile services climbed 36% to GBP1.03 billion in Q2, contrasted by a 6% fall in fixed line revenues during a period in which the former monopoly lost 100,000 customers in a month. Nonetheless Verwaayen is upbeat, and following a three-year long period of retrenchment his company is once again on the acquisition trail. Earlier this week BT announced plans to buy California’s Infonet Services Corp for USD965 million, adding a 180-country data network to its portfolio.