Sky shows steady growth in sales, profit in Q3, customer growth slows

Marco Green
April 19, 2018

Broadcaster Sky, which is now the subject of a bidding war, posted a 5% jump in nine-month like-for-like revenues on Thursday as core earnings rose 14%, and the company said it remains on track for the full year. Italy also saw an erosion of 2,000 customers at 4.8 million; growth in DTH customers offset by the continuing decline in Telecom Italia IPTV.

It added 480,000 new customers in the past year to 22.9 million, with a Q3 growth of 38,000.

Fox has been waiting for a United Kingdom decision on its plan to acquire the rest of Sky, while Comcast has also signaled it wants to buy Sky for a higher price tag.

Meanwhile, Sky has recently been boosted by the latest extension of its agreement to show Premier League games to 2022 - in a deal which will see it allowed to screen more games at a lower cost.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky Group Chief Executive, has suggested that the broadcaster is "in good shape" and "on track for the full year" as it reported results for the nine months to 31st March 2018. We've delivered excellent financial results, with like-for-like revenues up 5 per cent and Established EBITDA up 14 per cent.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in Sky's established markets climbed 14% to £1.8bn compared with the same nine-month period previous year.

It comes at a time when all customer-facing businesses are facing the challenge of pressures on household budgets. "Against the back drop of a challenging consumer environment, this performance reflects the continual improvement in our broad set of products and services and our focus on providing great value every single day - something recognised by customers now taking over 62 million subscription products from us and our services reaching over 120 million people across Europe". Direct-to-consumer revenue grew by £297 million to £8.851 billion, the result, Sky said, of continued customer and product growth, a higher number of pay-as-you-go buys, a home communications price rise in the United Kingdom in March 2017 and a TV price rise in Italy.

However, while Germany waits for the May 2 launch of Sky Q, the subscriber base fell by 30,000 on the quarter, though overall the year-over-year figure was up at 5.2 million.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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