Sky profits as more people sign on


Satellite broadcasting firm BSkyB has posted a slight rise in full-year pre-tax profits, boosted by increasing numbers of subscribers to its basic and premium services.

The company's profits for the 12 months ending June 30th were £798 million, compared to £787 million in the previous year, with overall revenue increasing eight per cent to £4.1 billion.

Claiming a strong performance in a both operational and financial sense, Sky has revealed that 389,000 new customers were encouraged to sign up to satellite TV services in the last year, bringing the total number of subscribers to 8.2 million.

At the same time, the number of households paying for premium Sky+ services increased 13 per cent to just over one million, in line with the broadcaster's estimations.

Sky now claims it is ready for a successful launch of its new broadband service, having already paid £1.3 billion to secure the Premiership football rights for the 2007/08 to 2009/10 seasons.

James Murdoch, chief executive of the company and son of billionaire tycoon chairman Rupert, said: "Our industry is changing faster than ever before and for Sky, 2006 has been an important and exciting year. The business and the team have performed well delivering good levels of customer growth, in line with our plans, and strong growth in both revenues and profitability.

"We have a clear vision for the future growth and direction of our business and we feel encouraged by the strong demand our customers show for new entertainment and communications services. With a continued focus on providing more choice, flexibility and control, we feel confident as we look ahead to the substantial opportunity this market holds for us," the chief executive added.

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