Sky grows revenues despite customer slowdown

Broadcaster Sky recorded a slowdown in customer growth in the third quarter but said a raft of new TV offerings such as Star Wars had helped revenues shine.
The group said it signed up 177,000 new customers, 160,000 fewer than the previous quarter, and taking its total customer numbers to 21.7million.
It posted a 5% increase in group revenue to £8.7billion and a 12% increase in profit to £1.1billion. In the UK, helped by demand for its new premium TV service SkyQ, revenues climbed 6% to £6.1billion and profit rose 15% to £1.1billion.
It signed up 70,000 new retail customers and 46,000 new broadband subscribers.
However its churn rate – the number of customers leaving – rose to 10.7% from 10.1% in the UK as it cut discount deals.
“It’s been another strong quarter,” said group chief executive Jeremy Darroch. “Our strategy to broaden our business, expanding into new markets and customer segments has delivered excellent results.”
Sky said its television performance had benefited from the drama Lucky Man, starring actor James Nesbitt, which drew record viewing figures and The Tunnel.
Its sports coverage including the start of the Formula 1 season had also performed well.
Programming costs rose 5% as it invested in content such as pop-up channels for Star Wars and Harry Potter in the UK and Sky Disney Prinzessinnen in Germany.
It added that over the 9 month period to March 31 group profits had risen 12% to £1.1billion. Debt has risen to £6.3 billion up from £5.6billion this time last year.
Analysts Shore Capital said despite competition from Netflix and BT it had performed well. “Sky’s content base and commitment to delivery across multiple platforms and revenue models places it in a strong position,” it said.