Sky Deutschland Posts Unexpected Profit on Subscribers

Sky Deutschland AG, the German pay-television provider controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., jumped the most in five months after posting an unexpected operating profit in the first quarter.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were 5.8 million euros ($7.6 million), after a 40.6 million-euro loss on that basis a year earlier, the Munich-based company said today. Analysts on average projected an Ebitda loss of 4.7 million euros, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Revenue rose 14 percent to 364 million euros, in line with estimates, as the company increased user numbers 1.2 percent to 3.41 million from the end of the prior quarter and sold additional services to subscribers. The shares surged as much as 12 percent to 5.04 euros, the biggest intraday gain since Nov. 21. They rose 7 percent at 10:15 a.m. Frankfurt time.

“Our subscriber growth is accelerating,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Sullivan said on a conference call. “There’s no reason to believe it will stop in the foreseeable future.”

Sky, whose shares have gained more than 150 percent over the past twelve months, confirmed a forecast that it will post its first positive Ebitda this year since News Corp. began investing more than five years ago. Sullivan is trying to lure clients with higher-capacity hard-drive recorders and content that can be accessed via mobile devices.

“Sky is gaining momentum in the operative development and building a solid track record,” Harald Heider, an analyst at DZ Bank AG, said today in a note.

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