Pay-TV giant Sky posts rising revenues
European pay-TV broadcaster Sky announced Tuesday that sales and profits climbed in the first nine months of its financial year, lifted by higher subscriber numbers.
Revenues grew five percent to £8.45 billion ($12.6 billion, 11.7 billion euros) in the nine months to the end of March, from £8.05 billion a year earlier, Sky said in a trading update.
Operating profit meanwhile jumped 20 percent to £1.025 billion in the reporting period.
In the third quarter, or three months to the end of March, Sky added 242,000 new customers, taking the total number to 20.8 million, helped by particularly strong growth in Austria, Germany and Italy.
"We have delivered an excellent third quarter as customers across the enlarged Sky group respond to the quality and breadth of what we offer," said chief executive Jeremy Darroch in the statement.
In November, Sky changed its name from BSkyB after completing the purchase of Sky Italia and a majority holding in Sky Deutschland, creating a pan-European pay-TV titan.
Sky is 39 percent owned by Rupert Murdoch's media empire 21st Century Fox. The group's five markets comprise Austria, Britain, Germany, Ireland and Italy.
"As these results demonstrate, our teams are working well together right across the new Sky," added Darroch.
"Five months in, our integration plans are progressing well and we are well positioned for the expanded growth opportunity ahead."
Sky broadcasts the 24-hour Sky News channel, blockbuster movies and English Premier League football, and also provides Internet and telephone services.
Earlier this year, in February, Sky was forced to spend massively to retain exclusive live coverage of Premier League games.
Sky and broadcasting rival BT won the UK television rights to show Premier League football for three seasons at a record cost of £5.1 billion.
The 70-percent price hike was the result of a ferocious bidding war between the pair. Sky will pay £4.2 billion for five of the seven packages and BT almost £1.0 billion for the remainder.
© 2015 AFP