BSkyB powers ahead with record annual profits

 

BSkyB showed just what Rupert Murdoch is missing as Britain's biggest pay-TV company raked in record annual profits of £1.19bn — equivalent to more than £3m a day. Mr Murdoch, who aborted his takeover of Sky because of the phone-hacking scandal, insisted a month ago that his News Corporation is no longer interested in buying the FTSE-100 firm, but another strong set of numbers from Sky suggests otherwise.

Pre-tax profits surged 17 per cent to £1.19bn in the year to June.

In a further sign of strength, chief executive Jeremy Darroch lifted the company's dividend 9 per cent to 25.4p and announced a new, £500m share buyback.

The vast majority of Sky's 10.6 million subscribers already take TV, so Mr Darroch, right, has focused on selling more broadband and home-phone services.

Sky recruited only 20,000 new TV subscribers in the last three months, but 138,000 signed up for broadband and 141,000 for home phone.

"A switch-and-save message for customers has worked well in a very tough, economic environment," said Mr Darroch, who froze prices last year.

Even so, annual revenues rose 4.5 per cent to £6.79bn.

Churn, the rate at which customers quit, also improved. That suggests the pay-TV giant is not yet feeling much impact from online rivals NetFlix and LoveFilm, even though Sky has launched its own cut-price internet service, Now TV.

Shares in BSkyB rose 21.5p to 706.5p.

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