BSkyB boosted by summer of sports

Pay-TV and broadband provider British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) saw decent growth across the board in the first quarter, helped by the number of high-profile sporting events that fell in the period, such as the US Open, Ryder Cup and Olympic Games.

Pay-TV and broadband provider British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) saw decent growth across the board in the first quarter, helped by the number of high-profile sporting events that fell in the period, such as the US Open, Ryder Cup and Olympic Games.

Shares were up 2.82% at 729p in early trading on Thursday.

Revenue totalled £1,715m in the three months to September 30th, up 4% on the £1,657m reported in the first quarter last year.

BSkyB's total products (which include TV, HD, Multiroom, Broadband, Telephony and Line Rental) came in at 28.90m in the quarter, up 0.53m quarter-on-quarter (q/q) of last year and 2.84m year-on-year (y/y).

Meanwhile, customer numbers increased by 48,000 q/q and 283,000 y/y to 10.65m. Products per customer increased to 2.7, up 0.2 from the same period last year. One third of customers now take a trio of BSkyB's products (TV, Broadband and Talk), up five percentage points on last year.

With the Olympics and Paralympics falling in the quarter, Sky customers had access to BBC coverage in HD via 24 dedicated channels plus 100 hours of 3D coverage from Eurosport. "In total, over 14 million people watched the dedicated channels in Sky homes generating a viewing share of 7% during the games," BSkyB said.

Meanwhile, the company said that its Sky Sports product saw record audiences for tennis with Andy Murray's US Open win attracting 4.5m viewers, while 4.8m watched the Ryder Cup.

A reduction in adjusted operating costs helped the firm to deliver a 5% increase in adjusted operating profit from £295m to £310m, while basic earnings per share rose 16% from 11.6p to 13.4p. The adjusted operating margin improved by 30 basis points from 17.8% to 18.1% over the year.

Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said: "We have made a strong start to the year, delivering another good quarterly performance and continuing to position the business for the long term. Our investment in high quality content and innovative services has delivered excellent levels of loyalty and generated good growth in customers and products."

"Looking forward, whilst we continue to see a challenging consumer environment in the UK and Ireland, we are well positioned to execute our plans for the year."

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