BT Group announced growth targets on Thursday for its Global Services business, which provides IT network services and is the former state monopoly's fastest growing division.

BT said it was aiming for divisional revenues from the United States, Japan, India and China to more than double by 2008 to 9 and for Italy and Germany to both become 1 billion euro operations by 2008 to 9.

It also announced plans to make 400 million pounds of annualised cost savings to be delivered by 2008 to 9. It did not say how it would generate the savings.

BT Global Services is thriving, its chief executive, Andy Green, said in a statement. We have very ambitious plans and BT's brand is fast becoming as familiar to businessmen in New York, Tokyo, Mumbai and Shanghai as it is in Europe.

Growth in BT's Global Services division has become increasingly important to the company as it looks to offset declining revenues from its traditional fixed line telecoms business.

The unit's clients include consumer goods giant Unilever, electronics group Philips, media company Reuters and the National Health Service.