HD boosts Sky

The popularity of BSkyB’s HD services has exceeded analysts’ expectations with 428,000 households signing up for Sky+ HD in the first quarter, a 76 per cent year-on-year increase.

BSkyB added 62,000 net new customers in the three months to the end of March. BSkyB now has a total subscriber base 9.77 million. Average revenue per user topped £500 for the first time.

BSkyB’s revenues were up 10 per cent year on year to £4.4 billion, while adjusted operating profit was up 5 per cent to £618 million for the nine months to the end of March. Profit before tax for the three months to the end of March was £349 million, up massively from the £63 million recorded in the same period last year. BSkyB said that this was due to factors including a £115 million boost from the enforced sale in February of 10.4 per cent of its 17.9 per cent stake in ITV.

A forecast-busting 428,000 households signed up to the Sky+ HD service. The performance was almost 100,000 customers more than analysts’ average prediction of 336,000 sign-ups. BSkyB’s total HD base is now 2.5 million, more than 25 per cent of its customer base.

Strong demand for HD services led to an almost 25 per cent increase in marketing costs to £826 million for the nine months to the end of March.

Meanwhile, Sky has confirmed that Sky News will launch in HD on

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