Murdoch junior: Sky+ exceptional

Satellite giant BSkyB won more new customers than anticipated in its first quarter but saw pre-tax profits fall to £121 million (E174m) in the three months to 30 September compared with £166 million last year. Revenue went up by 11 per cent on the comparable period to £1,185 million.

The company said it had 939,000 broadband and 679,000 telephony customers at the end of the quarter, with Sky+ customer additions an extra 14 per cent to 2.697 million and a net customer growth of 83,000 to 8.665 million. Subscription revenue growth was offset by the impact of new Premier League contracts and the non-renewal of its basic channels package deal with Virgin Media.

“We’ve seen continued good demand from customers for our entire product range, with over one million product sales for the fourth consecutive quarter,” said chief executive James Murdoch. Sky+ has been exceptional, growing faster than ever before – and is now enjoyed by almost one third of Sky TV customers. We launched Sky Broadband in the belief that customers would respond to quality and value, and they have. After just 14 months over one million customers have chosen Sky Broadband, and growth continues. As expected, our financial performance reflected strong product sales, our investment in high quality programming and a full quarter of investment in Sky Broadband and Talk. We expect that performance for the full year will be in line with our plans.”

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