Sky Deutschland confirms more losses

As expected, Sky Deutschland has confirmed greater losses for the year (to December 31st 2010), despite managing to grow sales revenues impressively up 8 per cent (to €977.8m) with Q4 revenue well ahead of 2009’s effort at €263.7 million (€230m in 2009). But the headlines will be the widening losses, with EBITDA loss at €268.6 million, up on 2009’s €262.7 million. Q4 loss was €101.7 million against last year’s €81.6 million.

However, there’s good news on churn, always an indicator of core customer satisfaction, which was again down to an annualised 16.2 per cent, its lowest for 5 years.

Official guidance is for improved earnings but continued losses as the broadcaster invests in new HDTV programming. CEO Brian Sullivan confirmed Sky would launch a new 24-7 sports news channel for German and Austria.

“I am encouraged by the progress that we have made, but aware that it is still early days in our development, and that there is still much to do,” said Sullivan, adding that the market’s understanding that the company should break even at around three million subscribers or slightly fewer was broadly correct. At the end of December 2010, it had 2.653 million subscribers.

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