Sky recruits 1,000 to push HD services

Jeremy%20Darroch%2C%20SkyBSkyB has announced plans to create 1,000 jobs to meet demand for its high definition services. The announcement comes as the satellite operator unveils it has added 171,000 subscribers in the last three months of the year.

In interim results published today (January 28), Sky says that sales increased by 5.8% to £2.6bn in the first six months of its financial year to December 31. Profits have risen to £388m from £307m a year earlier.

It says more customers are joining and staying for longer, with churn rate down to 9.9%, benefiting from strong take-up of additional products including its broadband and telephony services.

Over 50% of its 9.24 million subscribers take its Sky Plus digital video recorder service, or Sky Plus HD. The broadcaster aims to have 10 million customers by 2010.

The 1,000 new staff, to be recruited by June 2009, will focus on increasing subscriber numbers for Sky HD, its high definition service. The broadcaster has also permanently reduced the cost of a Sky Plus HD box to £49.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch says that the satellite operator has delivered a “great set” of results in a challenging economic environment by focusing on quality, value and customer service.

“We enter 2009 in a strong position,” he says. “Against a very difficult and uncertain economic backdrop, we will continue to focus our efforts on providing customers with more of what they want: the very best of entertainment and home communications at great value, backed up by great service.”

Sky celebrates its 20th anniversary next month.

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