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Sky passes 9.5 million subscribers

BSkyB has delivered another set of strong quarterly results, with 94,000 net additions and ARPU up to £469 (€520).

Sky, which has set itself a target of 10 million subscribers by the end of 2010, had a customer base of 9,536,000 by September 30 after adding 94,000 subs during the quarter. ARPU was up £39 year-on-year to £469 as the pay-TV operator continued to push its value-add services, including high definition DVR Sky Plus HD, which now has 1.6 million subscribers after 287,000 customers signed up during the quarter. Sky Plus customers now number 5.9 million after 411,000 new subscribers signed up between July and September, while 61,000 signed up to Sky’s multiroom service, which is now taken by 1.9 million customers.

Sky also reported strong growth in telephony during the quarter, reaching a total of 1.98 million customers after adding 132,000 subs. In addition, it continues to see strong demand for its line rental product, adding 209,000 customers in the quarter and surpassing one million customers. Sky’s broadband service was boosted by 100,000 subs during the quarter, giving it a total of 2.3 million. Overall, 17% of Sky’s customers now choose TV, broadband, and telephony. Sky said this represented good progress but added that there is still “considerable headroom for growth”.

Despite strong operational results overall, churn was up to 11.3% from 10.9% a year earlier. Sky said this reflected various operational decisions implemented in the quarter. It increased pricing on DTH subscriptions, restricted payment options available to customers in arrears wanting to rejoin Sky and swapped-out seven million smartcards.

Third-quarter revenue was up 10% year-on-year to £1.4bn, with 15% growth in retail subscription revenue. Adjusted EBITDA was up 12% to €279m.