Sky juggernaut rolls on with robust half yearly figures

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 31-01-2012

While he continues to reel from blows for the other parts of his UK portfolio, Rupert Murdoch has one consolation in that the Sky business line in which he holds a significant minority, carries on like the cash machine it has been for years.

For the six months ended 31 December 2011, the company recorded recession-beating revenue of £3.4 billion a 6% year on year rise; the company’s highest ever first-half adjusted operating profit of £601 million , up 16% on the period twelve months earlier.
Driving such profits and revenues was a continued growth in products and customers in the quarter ended 31 December, which saw a 13% yearly rise in total net product growth of to 26.8 million, with 100,000 new households added to the customer list to total 10.471 million customers. Three million customers took all three TV, broadband and telephony services, up by 26% year on year. In something of a coup, there were 2.5 million users of the Sky Go mobile TV service.
Yet recognising the tough economic conditions of the time, the company revealed a customer churn of 9.6%.
Commenting on the results and at the forthcoming year, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said, “It has been a strong first half with progress on all fronts. While these are tough times for many consumers, our customers are staying loyal and more households continue to join us. We’re adding more value to the Sky subscription by investing where it matters most to customers, with…innovation like Sky Go.
"Alongside that, we’re improving efficiency behind the scenes so we can expand margins at the same time. We expect the environment to remain tough in calendar 2012. No consumer business can be immune to these conditions and we will manage any short-term headwinds as they emerge. Staying focused on the long-term opportunity, we’ve got a strong set of plans to keep delivering for customers and shareholders.”
These plans will include more high quality content for Sky customers, including home grown comedy and drama and a new channel dedicated to Formula 1; New agreements to add BBC iPlayer and ITV Player to the Anytime+ video on demand offering; and intriguing the launch of a new internet based pay-TV service aimed at new customers.