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Sky Deutschland Advances on Earnings Forecast: Munich Mover

Sky Deutschland Advances on Earnings Forecast
The Sky Deutschland AG headquarters stand in Unterfoehring near Munich. Photographer: Guenter Schiffmann/Bloomberg

Sky Deutschland AG, the German pay-television provider controlled by News Corp., climbed as much as 14 percent in Frankfurt after subscriber numbers rose and the company predicted positive earnings in 2013.

Sky Deutschland jumped as much as 26 cents to 2.16 euros, the highest intraday price since Nov. 14. The company, based in Unterfoehring near Munich, forecast positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2013. While this year’s result will probably be negative on that basis, one or two quarters may be profitable, Chief Executive Officer Brian Sullivan said on a conference call today.

Subscribers rose to 3 million by the end of the fourth quarter from 2.65 million a year earlier, helped by sales with high-definition channels and the Sky+ video recorder, the company said in a statement. The 3 million customers figure is a condition for breaking even, it said previously.

“We are absolutely seeing the positive effect of what we’ve been doing,” Sullivan said on the call. “That’s why we’re going to continue investing in developing the platform and that’s why we’re putting the extra money into the business in order to be able to do that on an ongoing basis.”

The shares traded 7.8 percent higher at 2.04 euros as of 10:22 a.m. in Frankfurt.

Sky Deutschland, 49.9 percent-owned by News Corp., also announced plans to raise 300 million euros ($395 million) by the end of September to invest in growth. The funds, “fully backstopped by News Corp.,” will be raised in two steps through share sales, shareholder loans or a combination of the measures to help pay for expansion.

The loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2011 was 155 million euros, compared with a 159 million-euro average loss estimate in a Bloomberg analyst survey.

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