BSkyB First-Quarter Sales Rise as Users Add Products

British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc said first-quarter revenue rose as customers at the U.K.’s biggest pay-TV provider signed up to more products, including a service to view shows on the move from phones and tablets.

Sales rose 4.8 percent to 1.93 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) in the three months through September, the Isleworth, England-based company said in a statement today. The estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for revenue of 1.94 billion pounds. BSkyB customers signed up for 760,000 new paid-for subscription products in the period, including a record 309,000 who took the Sky Go Extra offering, which allows users to download and stream content from portable devices.

“BSkyB has reported encouraging interim results, with a good operational performance particularly in new products and services combined with financial results that were slightly ahead of our forecast,” Paul Richards, an analyst at Numis Securities in London, wrote in a note.

BSkyB, about 39 percent owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc., agreed in July to buy Fox’s Sky Italia unit and a majority stake in Sky Deutschland. The purchase will bring Murdoch’s European TV assets under one roof, creating a media powerhouse serving programs via cable and satellite to 20 million subscribers in five European countries.

The shares rose 1.2 percent to 868.5 pence at 8:13 a.m. in London, taking the advance to 2.9 percent this year.

Competitor BT Group Plc, the U.K.’s former phone monopoly, in July reported better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter as its free sports channels attracted more broadband customers. The company added 341,000 premises to its fiber broadband service in the period, bringing its total to more than 3 million.

BSkyB broadband customers in the fiscal first quarter rose by 75,000 to 5.3 million.

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