BSkyB posts 25% profit rise

BSkyB has answered recent downbeat analysis with a better than expected 25 per cent increase in first quarter profits and the addition of 87,000 new customers, which takes the broadcaster past the nine million mark for the first time.

Chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, said the business, which now has 9.067 million subscribers, had its best first quarter performance in terms of customer numbers for five years.

Sky has seen some of its users trade down from its more expensive television packages as the credit crunch bites. However, Darroch added that this has been offset by Sky’s success in persuading customers to take more than one of its three services – TV, broadband and home telephony. At present just 12 per cent of Sky’s customer base is signed up to its triple-play offer.

“We are not complacent, I don’t think that any consumer business is going to be entirely immune to a sustained downturn. That said, we are relatively well positioned as a business,” he said.

In the three months to end September, Sky increased operating profits by 25 per cent to £179 million (E227m) as revenues increased 5 per cent to £1.25 billion. Analysts had been expecting profits of about £176 million and forecasting 68,000 new customers.

Darroch said the company is still “on schedule” to have 10 million customers by the end of the decade.

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