BSkyB reports soaring annual profits
British pay-TV giant BSkyB said Thursday that annual net profits more than trebled as it closed in on its target of 10 million customers.
BSkyB, which last month rejected a bid from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for full control of the company, said profit after tax soared to 878 million pounds (1.051 billion euros, 1.373 billion dollars) in the 12 months to June 30 compared with 259 million pounds in 2008/09.
BSkyB said it added 90,000 customers in the fourth quarter -- taking its total number of subscribers to 9.86 million.
"We've had another good quarter to bring our financial year to a strong close," chief executive Jeremy Darroch said in the group's earnings statement.
"Customers are choosing Sky in ever greater numbers, not just for TV but across our entire product range," he added.
BSkyB, in which Murdoch's News Corp. is the biggest single shareholder, also sells telephone and Internet services.
Last month, News Corp. bid 7.8 billion pounds for full control of British BSkyB, but the television giant which screens live English Premier League football demanded 8.9 billion pounds.
News Corp. -- which controls such top media outlets as Fox television and The Wall Street Journal -- currently has 39.1 percent of BSkyB.
© 2010 AFP