Tuesday 17 July 2018

Sky reports higher profit and more customers

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Broadcasting giant Sky gained 177,000 new customers in the three month period ending March 31.

In the first three quarters of its financial year Sky has grown its revenue by 5pc up to £8.72bn (€11.07bn), which includes a 6pc increase in UK and Ireland sales.

The broadcaster is the home of the 'Game of Thrones' series, shot partly in Northern Ireland.

The company's operating proft is up by 12pc so far this year to £1.14bn, with reported profits in the UK and Ireland up 15pc.

Sky chief executive James Darroch said it had been a particularly strong quarter for the firm.

"Our strategy to broaden our business, expanding into new markets and customer segments, has delivered further excellent financial results with revenue up 5pc and a double digit growth in profit.

"Our approach to the connected home continues to engage customers; almost 11 million Sky households have now connected to enjoy our on demand services including Sky Box Sets, which recently launched in both Germany and Italy," Mr Darroch said.

The company's total retail customers across all its services now stand at 21.7 million.

Programming costs at the company jumped by 5pc with pop up channels for the likes of Harry Potter and Star Wars adding to the firm's expenses.

Net debt at the end of March jumped by £700m year on year to £6.3bn.

During the period Sky secured its first pan-European movie agreement with Sony that will give customers access to the new Ghostbusters film and Dan Brown's Inferno.

In football the broadcaster secured the rights to the upcoming Euro 2016 tournament in France and acquired exclusive UK Formula 1 rights for six years from 2019 onwards.

Customer churn at the company was 10.7pc, which Sky said reflected its decision to limit discounts. Sky estimates that limiting discounts caused around 10,000 additional customers churning.

Irish Independent

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