BellSouth ( BLS) posted a 12% profit jump as revenue inched ahead 1% for the second quarter.The Atlanta-based telco, which is planning to merge this year with AT&T ( T), made $887 million, or 49 cents a share, up from the year-ago $795 million, or 43 cents a share. Revenue rose to $5.21 billion from $5.14 billion a year earlier. Excluding various charges, latest-quarter earnings from continuing operations were 60 cents a share, 3 cents ahead of the Thomson Financial analyst consensus estimate. Communications group revenue rose 1% from a year ago to $4.7 billion, led by stabilization in the large business customer segment. Revenue streams for broadband data and long distance in these segments outpaced declines in the traditional voice business. Communications Group operating margin improved 130 basis points to 24.9%. Network data revenues rose 10% from a year ago to $1.3 billion, driven by a 41% increase in retail DSL revenue. At the end of the second quarter, BellSouth served nearly 3.3 million broadband DSL customers. The Company added 128,000 new customers during the second quarter and continued to improve the economic mix of customers. BellSouth ended the second quarter with nearly 7.5 million long distance customers and at quarter-end served more than 60% of its mass-market customer base with long distance. As of June 30, 2006, total access lines were 19.3 million, down 460,000 compared to March 31, 2006. Residential access line loss in the second quarter reflects seasonal loss patterns, wireless substitution and competition from cable telephony providers. Retail residential access lines were down 251,000. Retail small business access line gains were nearly 25,000, offset by a 48,000 decline in retail large business access lines that was predominantly driven by the loss of a single customer. Wholesale lines resold by BellSouth competitors declined 181,000 compared to March 31, 2006.