Strong pay-TV demand drives Sky results

Sky said it was "in good shape" ahead of the imminent Premier League rights auction
Sky said it was "in good shape" ahead of the imminent Premier League rights auction
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Strong demand for pay-TV in Britain and a record jump in customer numbers in Germany helped Sky PLC to post a 16 per cent rise in first-half adjusted operating profit, in its maiden results as a European pay-TV group.

Sky, which was formed from the combination of Britain’s BSkyB, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to serve 20 million customers in Europe, said it had also seen a significant decline in the number of people leaving their platforms.

Overall the group posted first half adjusted operating profit up 16 per cent to £675m, well ahead of forecasts of £644m in a consensus provided by the company.

Jeremy Darroch, chief executive, said: “Alongside our continued strength in the UK and Ireland, the acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland gives us an expanded opportunity for growth,” .

“Both businesses had a strong quarter.”

Having seen off a string of challengers to dominate its home market, BSkyB in June embarked on a plan to enter Germany, Austria and Italy by buying Rupert Murdoch’s assets in those markets - countries where pay-TV is not yet as popular or profitable.

The first set of results, as a combined company, indicated the group had got its timing right.

While adding 204,000 new customers in Britain and Ireland, the highest growth in nine years, it saw record growth in Germany and the best growth in Italy in 12 quarters, helped by fewer customers leaving the platform.