Strong Sky reaches 9m

Sky has shrugged off recent negative predictions by posting strong results including record HD growth and the news that the pay-TV broadcaster is now in 9.067 million homes in the UK and Ireland.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said the company had produced a good set of results in a challenging environment. “Looking ahead, the consumer environment will remain challenging and we are well positioned to manage the business accordingly. Our products are better than ever, we are strong financially and we have a great team of people.”

Strong growth in additional products has pushed ARPU up by £19 year-on-year. A heavy contributor to this is Sky+ HD, which attracts an additional £10 monthly fee, and gained 93,000 homes to reach 591,000. Sky+, now the basic PVR product, added an additional 421,000 homes and stands at 4,135,000.

The See, Speak, Surf triple play offer also continues to gain ground. Sky Broadband grew by 164,000 homes to 1.792 million representing 20% of Sky homes – given that the entry-level version is free one could question why it isn’t more. The Sky Talk telephony product grew by 120,000 to 1.361 million, 15% of Sky homes.

Churn, the annualised figure of subscribers leaving the service, stood at 10.9%, rising from 9.8% at the end of June, and attributed to the recent rise in subscription rates.

On the financial pages Sky reported revenue increased by 5%, when compared to 12 months ago, to £1,249,000. Operating profit was up 21% to £182 million.