Sky reports adjusted operating profit of ?994 mn

Sky reports adjusted operating profit of ?994 mn

MUMBAI: UK pay TV service provider Sky has reported financial results for the first nine months of its fiscal. It reported revenue of ?5.3 billion an increase of six per cent. Adjusted operating profit was ?994 million up by nine per cent.

Total paid-for subscription product base exceeded 30 million for the first time. Subscription product growth of 715,000 was recorded in the third quarter. Arpu is up ?30 year on year to ?576.

The company adds that there was rapid growth in take-up of new connected TV services. There are now 2.3 million internet-connected Sky+HD boxes, up almost 600,000 in the quarter. There are 4.5 million average weekly On Demand downloads, up more than fivefold year on year. There were 3.5 million movie rental transactions, up 37 per cent year on year.

Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch commented, "We have had a good third quarter and our multi-product strategy is delivering strong results. Increased take-up across our product set led to another improvement in financial performance with growth in revenues and profits accelerating in the third quarter. Group revenues are up by six per cent, operating profit was up by nine per cent and earnings per share up 16 per cent for the first nine

months.

"Despite the tough consumer environment, we added 715,000 more subscription products in three months, taking the total past 30 million for the first time. On the back of this growth, we are creating 550 new jobs to meet demand for our products and serve our growing customer base.

"In our television business, we continue to see rapid growth in our connected TV services as customers take advantage of new ways to watch our content. The number of internet-connected Sky+HD boxes grew by almost 45,000 every week in the quarter, leading to a fivefold increase in On Demand downloads and 37 per cent growth in movie rentals against last year.

"Alongside the expansion of our mobile video service with the launch of Sky Go Extra, these trends are opening up new sources of future growth and value creation.

"These results highlight the way that our successful transition to more broadly-based growth has created a bigger, more profitable business. And having more ways to grow serves us particularly well at a time when household budgets look likely to remain stretched. We will continue to focus on overall product sales as the best means of delivering sustainable growth and returns for shareholders."

Content: Sky said that it continued to bring the best new content to customers and to develop new ways for them to enjoy that content

In movies, it built on its longstanding relationship with Disney with the creation of a brand new channel, Sky Movies Disney. This is the first time that Disney has ever been involved in a co -branded linear movie channel and the first time that viewers in the UK and Ireland have been able to watch all Disney movies on one channel. The launch of the channel on 28 March was a big hit with customers, with Disney titles accounting for 40% of all downloads through On Demand and attracting 685,000 views across Sky Go in its first weekend.

In sport, it announced the renewal of both ATP and US Open tennis contracts and have, for the first time, secured the rights for RaboDirect Pro 12 rugby.

Products: The company said that its focus on giving customers new ways to consume content and giving

it new opportunities for future growth -is working well,with a rapid increase in the take-up and usage of its On Demand and mobile video services in the third quarter.

The number of internet-connected Sky+HD set -top boxes rose by 33 per cent on the previous quarter to 2.3 million. The launch of 4oD in the quarter, along with on demand content from leading partners including National Geographic and The History Channel, means that it now offers the UK?s most complete catch-up service at no extra cost to customers. Sky also expanded the range of movies available on Sky Store. Recent blockbusters like ?Skyfall?, ?Argo? and ?Taken 2? were all available to customers at the same time as the DVD release , helping to drive significant demand.

The number of average weekly On Demand downloads in the quarter increased by almost 500 per cent year on year to 4.5 million,while the number of movie rental transactions, through both Sky Store and Sky Box Office, increased 37%

over the same time period.

Customers Sky said who use its On Demand services consistently report the highest levels of satisfaction: they are more loyal, more likely to recommend Sky and more likely to take up additional products

As a result, Sky is offering wireless connectors to selected Sky Movies customers -a segment that derives a particularly strong benefit from its On Demand service. These devices will make it easy for them to connect their Sky+HD box to the internet at no extra cost and enable them to access the full range of On Demand services including over a thousand movie rentals on Sky Store.

The company says that in Sky Go, it has developed a mobile video service which it says continues to get a great response from customers.

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