Sky delivers £1,073m profit
07.40 Europe/London, July 29, 2011 By Julian Clover

BSkyB has brushed aside the travails of its 39% shareholder BSkyB with a 23% increase in operating profit in its financial year that closed on June 30. There are now 10.3 million customers signed to the satellite platform in the UK and Ireland, even though the 40,000 new homes added in the last quarter was poor by Sky standards, it remains higher than that achieved by either Virgin Media or BT.

“This has been a year of outstanding operational and financial results for Sky. It is to the credit of Sky’s first-class management team that the company has continued to deliver throughout the offer period that ended earlier this month,” said BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch. “While Sky is not immune to tougher economic conditions, we have continued to see good demand across our product portfolio as customers respond to the great quality and value that we offer.”

With revenues of £6,597 million (€7,516 million) and an operating profit of £1,073 million, BSkyB announced it would be returning £750 million to shareholders through a share buyback programme.

Yesterday evening a meeting of independent shareholders gave their backing to under-fire chairman James Murdoch.

Sky’s continued innovation has continued to drive ARPU, which currently stands at £539, £5 lower than the previous quarter largely due to the unwinding of a VAT benefit that resulted from a reduction in the frequency of Sky’s customer magazine.

The number of customers enabled for pull VOD service Sky Anytime is 800,000, there are 3,822,000 Sky HD homes, 3,335,000 broadband and 3,101,000 telephony.

27% of the subscriber base takes the triple play of TV, phone and broadband in the most successful year for Sky Broadband.

The 174,000 additions to the broadband service is greater than the 141,000 added by BT in the quarter.

Sky has ‘unbundled’ telephone exchanges reaching 79% of the country and today announced plans to add a further 400 exchanges that will take the service to 83% of UK homes.

A customer offer following Sky’s acquisition of The Cloud will be announced later in the year.