BSkyB closes on 10m customer target
Satellite broadcaster BSkyB moved closer to its target of 10 million customers today as it added 96,000 subscribers in the first three months of its financial year.
The group's customer base stood at 9.956 million households at the end of September - and it wants to hit the 10 million target, set in 2004, by the end of the year.
The broadcaster also saw a 39pc leap in the number of customers who take TV, broadband and telephone services from the group - a total of 2.3 million customers.
BSkyB, which recently rebuffed a proposal by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to take full control of the UK satellite broadcaster, said it would be opening a new call centre, creating 500 jobs, to support the growth.
The climb in customer numbers came as BSkyB posted a 25pc rise in operating profits in the quarter to £255m (€288m) and a 15pc increase in revenues to £1.5bn.
The customer number target was set six years ago by then chief executive of BSkyB James Murdoch when subscriber numbers were at 7.4 million.
The group is rolling out a strategy to attract customers to additional products such as high-definition (HD) television, phone and broadband services.
In the first quarter, the group said it turned its focus on home communications and achieved its highest ever combined quarterly growth for TV, phone and broadband customers, which boosted total additional product sales by 13pc to 893,000.
BSkyB said 32pc of its customers now subscribe to its HD service, with a further 215,000 net additions in the first quarter to surpass three million customers.
The start of the second quarter saw Sky 3D, Europe's first in-home 3D channel, launched with coverage of the Ryder Cup golf tournament on October 1.