Sky boosts Comcast quarter

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Comcast got a boost from added customers and revenue in its first quarter including Sky, and it announced a 10 per cent increase in quarterly dividend.

Revenue for Q4 rose 26.1 per cent to $27.85 billion (€24.5bn) thanks to the Sky takeover, and adjusted EBITDA was up 21.6 percent to $8.19 billion. Quarterly net profit dropped 83.3 per cent YoY to $2.51 billion, down to tax gains a year ago and Sky deal costs.

Capital expenditure increased 16.8 per cent to $3.2 billion in the quarter, with higher spending across the group’s activities. Free cash flow rose a slower 8.6 percent to $2.06 billion, after the company also spent $1 billion on share buybacks in the quarter. Comcast said it will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.21 per share, up 10 per cent on an annualised basis.

Comcast lost another 29,000 TV subscribers in Q4, taking total losses for the year to 370,000, more than double the number of 2017. This was offset by broadband net additions of 351,000 in the quarter and 1.35 million over the year, slightly better than the same periods in 2017. Total customer relationships reached 30.349 million at the end of 2018, up by just over 1 million year-on-year and by 258,000 in Q4. That included over 9 million each for single- and dual-play customers, while triple or quad-play customers returned to growth in Q4, up by 20,000 to 9.88 million.

Sky ended the year with 23.6 million customer relationships, an increase of 164,000 in Q4 and 735,000 over the full year 2018. Comcast said average revenue per customer at Sky rose around 1 per cent last year.


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