Sky records highest-ever first half profits
07.50 Europe/London, January 31, 2012 By Julian Clover

BSkyB has announced the addition of 100,000 new subscribers in the final three months of 2011, setting the benchmark for the UK’s other pay-TV providers, expected to report in the next few weeks.

The satcaster recorded its highest ever first-half adjusted operating profit, up 16% at £601 million (€719 million). BSkyB announced a 5% increase in dividend in addition to the £750 million buy-back initiated on November 29, 2011.

A total of 10.471 million customers in the UK and Ireland now take Sky services, more than three million customers taking all three of TV, broadband and telephony, up by 26% year on year. In the tough economic environment, churn has held steady at 9.6%.

“Our approach to growth is working well. We’re adding more value to the Sky subscription by investing where it matters most to customers, with more great entertainment and ground-breaking innovation like Sky Go. Alongside that, we’re improving efficiency behind the scenes so we can expand margins at the same time,” said Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch. “Financially, we’ve delivered another strong result, with our highest ever first-half operating profit and 20% growth in earnings per share”.

1,300 new Sky jobs are being created across the UK and Ireland over the next two years, including the opening of a new service centre in Dublin.

The per customer cost to acquire a TV subscriber increased £14 to £368 (2011: £354) reflecting a lower number of gross additions and the difficult consumer environment.