BSkyB subscription growth beats forecasts

03-11-2006

BSkyB subscription growth beats forecasts
BSkyB has revealed that it attracted a net amount of 82,000 new subscribers to its television services during the first quarter, beating analyst predictions.

In a statement, the company, which is 39 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, added that it was pleased with the progress that had been made by its newly-launched residential broadband service.

BSkyB said that as of October 31st, some one million customers had registered interest in the Sky Broadband package, for which the company had received 113,000 orders, of which 74,000 were now active customers.

The group also announced an 11 per cent increase in sales revenue to £1.1 million in the three months ending September 30th.

However, overall pre-tax profit for the first quarter was down 17 per cent to £116 million, compared to £140 million a year earlier, with the drop a result of costs incurred by BSkyB through its investment in Britain's competitive broadband market.

The company has said that it intends to invest £400 million over the next three years to carve itself a share in the broadband market, with BSkyB's new internet package only available to those who subscribe to the company's pay-TV service.

Nonetheless, the group remains optimistic about its performance, with BSkyB chief executive James Murdoch stressing that the company had delivered its highest growth in first quarter subscribers for three years.

He added that one in three families in the UK and Republic of Ireland were now subscribers to Sky's television service, while almost a quarter of such households are now thought to have signed up to receive an additional product from the company as well.

Commenting on BskyB's first quarter performance, Mr Murdoch said: "This has been an important period for the company. We are building on our leadership in pay television and are becoming an increasingly well positioned challenger in the £20 billion combined industry for pay television, broadband and telephone services."


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