Sky urged to return more cash

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The Independent Online

BSkyB promised to hand back more than £1bn to shareholders as it posted a boost in annual profits, but one major investor complained that the windfall could have been higher.

Sky released a set of stellar figures yesterday, with profits passing £1bn, the first financial update since the bid by News Corporation collapsed.

One of the group's largest shareholders said it intends to press for more cash when it meets with Sky's board in the coming months, saying: "We are happy with the share buyback, but the sum could have been higher."

The investor had hoped for a "multi-year buyback programme, although that certainly was not a deal breaker".

The company will hand back £750m, carried out via a share buy-back. In addition, the group hiked its ordinary dividend by 20 per cent to £253m.

Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said the capital return programme "is a reflection of our strong performance and financial position".

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