BSkyB says net profits rocket in third quarter

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British pay-TV giant BSkyB, owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, said Thursday its net profit rocketed in its third quarter, driven by strong demand for its high definition television services.

Net earnings soared to 286 million pounds (330 million euros, 435 million dollars) in the three months to March, compared with just 3.0 million pounds in the same period a year earlier, BSkyB said in a statement.

Revenue meanwhile climbed 7.9 percent to 1.51 billion pounds while the company added a net 62,000 customers, taking its total customer base to 9.77 million households.

Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said he was confident of hitting the group's target of 10 million customers by December.

"The business has continued to perform very well in what remains a tough consumer environment," Darroch said.

"Today's results show that our financial performance is accelerating as we move through our investment in broadband and HD."

BSkyB offers live English Premier League football, as well as telephone, Internet and High Definition (HD) television services -- which give better picture quality.

© 2010 AFP

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