Pay-TV gi­ant Sky posts ris­ing rev­enues in first nine months of UK fi­nan­cial year

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Euro­pean pay- TV broad­caster Sky an­nounced Tues­day that sales and prof­its climbed in the first nine months of its fi­nan­cial year, lifted by higher sub­scriber num­bers.

Rev­enues grew 5 per­cent to 8.45 bil­lion pounds ( NT$392.108 bil­lion; US$12.6 bil­lion) in the nine months to the end of March, from 8.05 bil­lion pounds a year ear­lier, Sky said in a trad­ing up­date.

Op­er­at­ing profit mean­while jumped 20 per­cent to 1.025 bil­lion pounds in the re­port­ing pe­riod.

In the third quar­ter, or three months to the end of March, Sky added 242,000 new cus­tomers, tak­ing the to­tal num­ber to 20.8 mil­lion, helped by par­tic­u­larly strong growth in Aus­tria, Ger­many and Italy.

“We have de­liv­ered an ex­cel­lent third quar­ter as cus­tomers across the en­larged Sky group re­spond to the qual­ity and breadth of what we of­fer,” said chief ex­ec­u­tive Jeremy Dar­roch in the state­ment.

In Novem­ber, Sky changed its name from BSkyB af­ter com­plet­ing the pur­chase of Sky Italia and a ma­jor­ity hold­ing in Sky Deutschland, cre­at­ing a pan-Euro­pean pay-TV ti­tan.

Sky is 39 per­cent owned by Ru­pert Mur­doch’s me­dia em­pire 21st Cen­tury Fox. The group’s five mar­kets com­prise Aus­tria, the United King­dom, Ger­many, Ire­land and Italy.

“As th­ese re­sults demon­strate, our teams are work­ing well to­gether right across the new Sky,” added Dar­roch.

“Five months in, our in­te­gra­tion plans are pro­gress­ing well and we are well po­si­tioned for the ex­panded growth op­por­tu­nity ahead.”

Sky broad­casts the 24-hour Sky News chan­nel, block­buster movies and English Pre­mier League foot­ball, and also pro­vides In­ter­net and tele­phone ser­vices.

Ear­lier this year, in Fe­bru­ary, Sky was forced to spend mas­sively to re­tain ex­clu­sive live cov­er­age of Pre­mier League games.

Sky and broad­cast­ing ri­val BT won the UK tele­vi­sion rights to show Pre­mier League foot­ball for three sea­sons at a record cost of 5.1 bil­lion pounds.

The 70-per­cent price hike was the re­sult of a fe­ro­cious bid­ding war be­tween the pair. Sky will pay 4.2 bil­lion pounds for five of the seven packages and BT al­most 1.0 bil­lion pounds for the re­main­der.

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