Broadband in Britain boosts Sky

Sky television remote control. Photo credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Sky television remote control. Photo credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

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Pay-TV group Sky posted a slightly-better-than expected 10 per cent jump in first-quarter operating profit, helped by strong new broadband additions in Britain.

Sky, formed from the combination of Britain’s BSkyB, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to serve 21 million customers in Europe, added 134,000 customers in the quarter.

Operating profit of £375m was slightly ahead of a forecast of £366m and the group said it was well positioned for growth opportunities.

Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive, said: “We have made a strong start to the year with customers responding well to the quality and breadth of our content, products and services. As we continue to place customers right at the heart of our business, we are focused on offering the very best content at the same time as anticipating customers’ evolving needs, delivering the programmes that they love across multiple platforms and devices.”

The company said it added 134,000 new customers in the three months to September 30.

Mr Darroch added: “This approach has delivered an excellent financial performance in the quarter, with further broad-based revenue growth of 6 per cent, translating into a 10 per cent increase in operating profit.

“This performance was driven by strong demand across the group. We added over 130,000 new customers in the quarter, up 7 per cent on the previous year, which means that we’ve added almost a million new customers over the past twelve months, up 51 per cent year-on-year.

“Our total product base now exceeds 54 million, and within this, broadband growth in the UK had a stand-out performance this quarter, up 77% year on year.

“Our investments in content are driving a great performance on screen, with highlights this quarter including record viewing of Sky Atlantic in the UK, of the Bundesliga in Germany and the X Factor in Italy. We are building scale in our own world class original content, as well as securing key rights including multi-year deals with Disney and SANZAR southern hemisphere rugby.

“We want to make the viewing experience even better for all our customers. Following the success of our proven connected home strategy in the UK and Ireland, we are beginning to roll this out across our other territories. We now have almost 10 million connected households across the group, driving over 750 million views to our connected services this quarter alone.

“As these results show, we are delivering against a clear set of plans across Europe, and are well positioned for the growth opportunities ahead.”

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