BSkyB 3Q net up by 8 per cent to $277.5 million

MUMBAI: British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) has reported an 8 per cent increase in the third quarter net profit. The company said net profit for the three months ended 31 March rose to 151 million pounds ($277.5 million), from 140 million pounds a year ago.

BSkyB revenue went up by 11 per cent to 1.06 billion pounds ($1.9 billion). The company also revealed a steep drop in subscriber growth ahead of the launch of new products later this year.

The company said it recorded net subscriber growth of 40,000 in the quarter, significantly less that the 95,000 increase in "direct-to-home" customers in the first quarter of 2005. Analysts had predicted growth of 30,000 to 50,000 new subscribers.

The broadcaster now has 8.1 million subscribers, it has a target of 10 million by 2010, and forecasts adding 600,000 in the final quarter of this year following the rollout of new products.

BSkyB chief executive James Murdoch said, "The business is performing well and is delivering on the plan we laid out for 2006. Our focus during the quarter was to successfully implement our new customer management systems, complete the final preparations for the launch of Sky HD, and continue to ready the business for the launch of residential broadband services in the summer. Operational achievements in the quarter were outstanding. We achieved our goals, continued to grow our customer base and increased the number of products they choose to take from us."

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