BSkyB profit bump puts pressure on News Corp

BSkyB says strong demand for its broadband and high definition television services helped lift profit by 26% in the first-half of its financial year.

/k/j/c/hoffman160.jpg

Operating profit increased to £520m in the six months to 31 December, up from £414m in the same period last year.

Net additions for its broadband services totalled 204,000 in the first-half, the fastest growth in more than two years, the media company says, while HD customer numbers increased 68% to 3.5 million.

Across its product and service range, there were 140,000 net additions, taking the company over its long-held 10 million customer target.

The company marketed heavily in the period, marketing-related costs increased by £75 million to £613 million, with big pushes for its broadband services and pay-TV channel Sky Sports.

The strong performance illustrates why News Corp is keen to buy the 61% of Sky it does not already own and why it wants to avoid a six-month probe into competition and plurality concerns.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has given the company time to address these concerns but could still refer the bid to the Competition Commission.

Analysts say that strong results will increase pressure on News Corp to up its £7.8bn bid.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch says that the company will focus on increasing “value” and offering “better service” in the second-half.

It will launch new channel Sky Atlantic later this week and mobile viewing service Sky Anywhere later this year. Darroch also unveiled plans to open a new contact centre in Sheffield.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here